There are now 93 cases of Shigellosis reported in Lubbock. To put that into perspective, from January to August the health department only saw seven cases. The increase started in September, and by October 1st, we had 44 cases.
Shigellosis is spread when people use the bathroom, and then don't wash their hands. Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, vomiting and stomach cramps. It lasts four to seven days. It will go away on its own, but it can be treated with antibiotics, so if you think you have it contact your doctor immediately.
Medical professionals say the best way to keep from getting sick, it to wash your hands. NewsChannel 11 visited one local school that's taking extra steps to keep students healthy. Lubbock-Cooper South Elementary partnered with Covenant Health System in a germ study.
Covenant provided hand sanitizers to the school, and now they're helping to prevent the spread of disease. Lubbock-Cooper West also has the sanitizers, but Cooper-North does not. Of course, no one could have planned for the increase in Shigellosis cases, but the sanitizers are having a noticeable impact.
"I have not had one reported case, whether that be because we're using the hand sanitizers or not, I like to think it is. The kids are more apt to use those. They like it; it's fun. West is the same way. North has had a higher incidence," Lubbock-Cooper South Elementary Nurse Shannon Davis said. Cooper-North is asking parents to send a bottle of sanitizer with their children to school, and nurse Davis says it's really good advice for all parents.
NewsChannel 11 wanted to know if our neighboring cities are experiencing the same increase in Shigellosis that we are, so we called the health departments in Abilene, Amarillo, Midland and San Angelo. We'll share what we discovered tonight on NewsChannel 11 at ten.
|Covenant Medical Group Physicians|