Shigella now in six counties

Hand washing is one of the best methods to prevent the spread of shigella. / Allen Carter

Health officials are issuing a warning about a shigella. Originally reported in Worth County schools, officials say the disease has now spread to six counties in Southwest Georgia.

Shigella is contagious and health officials are advising that people wash their hands often and make sure surfaces are clean especially in kitchens and bathrooms.

"Forty percent of household members become infected if one household member has it. Because it is so much more infectious then a lot of other bacteria, then we really want get that message out that in order to prevent it you really have to do adequate hand washing," said Southwest Health District Health Director Dr. Jacqueline Grant.

Symptoms of shigella include vomiting, diarrhea, fever and cramping.