Shigella outbreak at Worth County School System

1st Update
The cheer competition scheduled for this weekend for Worth County has NOT been cancelled.

Initial Story
The Worth County School System has issued the following press release:

All schools in the Worth County School System will be closed Monday, October 31, 20011 and Tuesday, November 1, 2011 due to increased absences of both staff and students which is affecting our instructional time. We are encouraging increased efforts with good hand washing techniques at home. We are taking additional cleaning precautions at our schools and continuing to work cooperatively with the local health department.

There are confirmed cases of Shigella in Worth County Schools. Worth County School System is working cooperatively with the CDC and our local health department to break the cycle of this pathogen. A letter was sent home with students from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that explains what Shigella is, and also contained tips for parents on how to help curb the spread of Shigella.

Public health officials have given school administration some guidelines to help break the cycle of the bacterial infection. The Worth County Board of Education is doing everything they have advised. There are guidelines in place for students who are sent home with symptoms. These guidelines will be explained when the child is picked up at the school. Symptoms may include diarrhea, stomachache, vomiting, and fever. The child must be free of symptoms for a minimum of 24 hours before returning to school.

For more information on Shigella, please read this information sheet provided by the Southwest Georgia Public Health Department.