Officials with the Central District Health Department are warning Grand Island residents about a bacterial infection that has hit the city.
The department says over 118 residents have been diagnosed with Shigellosis since March and they say those number continue to grow.
Symptoms of the infection include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Dehydration is a concern and children under two years old may also experience a high fever. Health officials say the illness usually lasts five to seven days and rarely requires hospitalization.
Shigella can spread from one infected person to another in several ways, and occasionally the infected person doesn't display any symptoms. The bacteria may be spread when changing diapers or assisting toddlers with potty training, and swimming in public pools.
The health department advises the following precautions to help prevent the spread of Shigella:
- Wash hands often and well and help young children with their hand washing.
- Store diapers in a closed-lid garbage can and wash hands immediately after changing a diaper.
- Wipe changing areas with a disinfectant.
- Seek medical attention for diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Antibiotics may reduce the chances of spreading the illness.
- When possible, isolate sick children from other children.
- Do not send a sick child to day care or allow them to swim in public pools.
For more information, contact the Central District Health Department at 308.385.5175 or go to www.cdhd.ne.gov.