Health officials warn shigellosis is on the rise - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

3/18/10

Health officials warn shigellosis is on the rise

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) – Most of us look forward to spring, but officials at the Lubbock Health Department say this is the time of year when we normally see an increase in shigellosis. That's a gastrointestinal illness that can last up to a week.

Adults may get it with hardly any symptoms. But in kids under age 10, particularly in babies it can be dangerous.

 "It involves fever, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and also abdominal cramps as well. And in young children, it can cause all these as well as bacteria in the blood, seizures, and it can be really devastating and it can cause dehydration much earlier than an adult would have," says Dr. Fatma Levent, an infectious Disease Specialist at the Texas Tech Health Science Center.

Shigellosis spreads easily from person to person. But health officials say the key to preventing this is good hand-washing, especially before handling food and after going to the restroom or changing diapers.

You can find further information about shigellosis and other gastrointestinal illnesses at www.cdc.gov.

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