Friday, June 24, 2005
The Kansas City Metro area has seen an increase in Shigellosis, with 167 cases on the Missouri side and 6 cases reported in Johnson County .
Olathe, Kan. – infoZine – Shigella is transmitted by direct or indirect fecal-oral contact. Shigella may also be transmitted by ingesting contaminated food and water. Small children, the elderly, and the malnourished of any age are most susceptible to the disease and may have a more severe illness.
The average incubation period for Shigella ranges from 1-3 days but can range from 12-96 hours. A person infected with Shigella is infectious from the time they begin having symptoms. Untreated organisms can remain in the stool for 4 weeks or more.
When diagnosed with Shigellosis:
Children and adults with diarrhea should remain out of swimming pools, saunas or spas and for 2 weeks following the end of diarrhea.
They must wash their hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and warm water. For smaller children, educate regarding proper hand washing techniques and supervise hand washing.
Cases and ill contacts of Shigellosis patients should be excluded from food handling, the care of children or patients, and other occupations that pose significant risk of transmission until diarrhea ceases and 2 successive negative stool cultures are obtained 24 hours apart. Specimens should be obtained no sooner than 48 hours following last dose of antibiotics. Commercial food handlers must provide documentation of 2 consecutive negative stool specimens before returning to work.
Children should return to daycare only after the child has taken 5 days of antibiotics and 2 successive stool cultures have been negative for Shigella, collected 24 hours apart beginning sooner than 48 hours following last dose of antibiotics.
Caregivers should dispose of diapers from infected children correctly. The diapers should be put in a leak proof container with a closed lid. Caregivers must wash their hands carefully with soap and water after changing or disposing of the diapers. Diaper changing areas should be disinfected with household bleach (one teaspoon of bleach per gallon of water) or bactericidal wipes.
They should practice basic food safety precautions. The treatment of regular drinking water helps prevent infections with Shigella.
Shigella cases must be reported to the Johnson County Health Department.