Kansas City – Health officials in Kansas City, Missouri, warned the public about the outbreak of Shigella, an infectious diarrheal disease that has reported to infect 150 people. Transparency when reporting cases and preventable measures are asked to be taken in order to mitigate the spread.

The amount of cases of Shigella reported in Missouri has increased dramatically since 2015. The city used to only get 10 cases each year, but a sudden spike occurred these past two months, having 134 more cases reported.

“What we are seeing with this which is unusual is we’re seeing three different patterns of resistance. They need to go to a doctor because antibiotics will help less the duration of the virus,” Kansas City Health Department Media Spokesperson Bill Snook said in a press release.

So far, health officials have not found the reason or source behind the outbreak of Shigella throughout the state. Photo by Neil Beckerman via Getty Images.

What is it?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Shigella is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called by the same name. Patients of this disease develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps for 5 to 7 days, although if it is not treated, the organism can remain in stool for four weeks or more.

Doctors also warn that the disease may also lead to high fever (between 104 and 105 degrees Fahrenheit) and convulsions, when it affects young children.

It can be spread easily, since some people who are infected may have no present any symptoms at all, but still pass the bacteria to others.

Even though it can generally be treated by antibiotics, patients should go to the doctor to get a culture test to ensure that the proper medicine will be used.

Is it preventable?

Fortunately, Shigella is a preventable disease. The risk of suffering from it can be highly mitigated by proper washing hands using soap and water, since the disease is usually passed through fecal-oral contamination.

Since the majority of the patients are children, doctors have recommended informing the daycares and school systems about the potential risk of the disease and how to prevent it.

Other measures, like properly dispose of diapers of infected children, are asked to be taken. Adults found with the bacteria should avoid cooking and all who have been diagnosed with Shigella should stay away from pools, spas and shared tubs.

Lastly, health officials have asked to be transparent when reporting Shigella, since it helps diminish the outbreak.

Source: Fox 4 KC