Severe diarrhea could be sign you have Shigellosis, a highly contagious disease spreading in CLE

Are you or your children experiencing severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps? It's not just inconvenient because of the holidays.

There’s a chance you’ve caught a case of Shigellosis, according to Cleveland’s office of public safety .

They’ve issued a health advisory for the “highly contagious form of diarrhea,” which is on the rise among school kids and children in daycare.

The disease is caused by the Shigella bacteria and is spread by person-to-person contact.

Health officials urge parents to seek professional care if they or their children are exhibiting symptoms, which can last 48-72 hours and include watery or bloody diarrhea.

Here are 8 ways healthcare professionals say you can keep from catching or spreading Shigellosis:

#1) Wash your hands with soap frequently, especially after using the bathroom, changing diapers and before preparing food or beverages.

#2) Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea.

#3) Sick children AND adults should stay home until cleared by a doctor to return to school or work.

#4) Keep children with diarrhea out of childcare settings and common play areas.

#5) Supervise toddlers and small children as they wash their hands after using the toilet.

#6) Dispose of soiled diapers properly and disinfect diaper-changing areas after using them.

#7) Don’t drink or swallow water from ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

Officials say children with Shigellosis should not return to school or daycare until symptoms cease and lab tests are negative.

For more information on Shigellosis, you can contact the Cleveland Department of Public Health Office of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Epidemiology at (216) 664-3747 or visit the CDC website here .


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