An increase in shigellosis has health officials emphasizing prevention to curb the spread of the gastrointestinal illness. Parents of children in diapers should be especially cautious.
Shigellosis is a highly contagious form of diarrhea. It is spread through person-to-person contact. Symptoms last 48 to 72 hours and include severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps. Anyone with symptoms should contact their health-care provider, health officials said.
The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department offers these tips:
■ Wash hands with soap carefully and frequently, especially after going to the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing food or beverages.
■ Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea.
■ Sick children and adults should stay home until cleared by a doctor to return to school or work.
■ Keep children with diarrhea out of child-care settings and common play areas.
■ Supervise hand-washing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet.
■ Dispose of soiled diapers properly.
■ Disinfect diaper-changing areas after using them.
■ Avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes or untreated pools.
For more information on shigellosis, contact the epidemiology department of the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department at (859) 288-2437.