Galveston county officials mark rise in gastrointestinal illness

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Thursday, December 10, 2015
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Diarrhea, fever and vomiting are all signs you might have the Shigellosis illness.

GALVESTON COUNTY, TX (KTRK) -- Statewide increase in gastrointestinal illness affects Galveston County

Health officials in Galveston County say the gastrointestinal illness, Shigellosis, is on the rise, and it mirrors what is going on across the state of Texas.

Shigellosis causes diarrhea, stomach cramping, vomiting and fever.

State officials tell Eyewitness News that they have had reports from several local health departments about Shigellosis outbreaks, and have seen an elevated number of outbreaks.

Gaveston county has confirmed 82 cases of Shigellosis since October, primarily in young children.

Fourteen schools and eight daycare centers have had cases. The illness is easily spread by children who do not wash their hands after using the restroom.

At Rising Star Daycare, in Texas City, where they've seen 18 cases, the staff has brushed up on hygiene training.

"When they notified us, they came and did a walk through of the building, we had already bleached every single thing down," said daycare director, Karry Howell.

The CDC says says proper hand washing helps prevent spreading Shigellosis. The illness usually resolves itself in five to seven days.

Officials say those who are infected may not show any symptoms, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others.