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      Look out for Shigella

      Grant adds that diligent hand washing is the key for preventing Shigella disease as well as wiping surfaces with cleaning agents that include bleach. / File


      The Southwest Public Health District is urging residents to look out for signs of Shigella disease.

      Shigella is a bacteria that is found in feces and can be spread from soiled finger and surfaces.

      Jacqueline Jenkins, District Health Director of the Southwest Public Health District said, "You see it mostly in small children and infants, so we pay particular attention to daycares. We work with daycares when they have positive cases to make sure they're doing a frequent and careful hand washing."

      She adds that diligent hand washing is the key for preventing Shigella disease as well as wiping surfaces with cleaning agents that include bleach.

      Symptoms of this disease include diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. These symptoms start a day or two after exposure to the bacteria and resolves in five to seven days. Children under two are susceptible to seizures.

      Southwest Public Health District officials say they are seeing clusters of shigella occur in Mitchell, Thomas, and other counties in Southwest Georgia.

      A shigella outbreak in 2011 led to the closure of the Worth County School System for two days in 2011.

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