There’s a health alert regarding an illness reaching significantly larger numbers in Fayette county compared to last summer.
Health department officials want you to be aware of the spread of the Shigella infection.
"Right now we only have 16 cases confirmed with 15 that are probable cases,” said Greg Hiles, Communications Generalist at the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department.
The health department said Shigella is making its way through area daycares and swimming pools in Fayette County. The illness is more prevalent than last summer when only two cases were confirmed.
"Toddlers have a tendency to spread that around a lot especially even to parents and daycare workers who are working with them,” said Hiles.
That's because the infection, starts in the stool. The health department said potty-training parents and guardians should be on the lookout for symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, fever and abdominal cramps.
According to the health department all these symptoms and the Shigella infection itself can be prevented.
"Wash your hands frequently and carefully,” advised Hiles.
Hand washing is a habit practiced often at Big Blue Bird Childcare Center.
"Yes, we hand wash a lot. When they arrive in the morning, before and after eating, coming in from outside. Lots of times during the day,” said center director Crystal Steele.
Big Blue Bird reported it didn’t have any confirmed cases of Shigella infection. Even so, when the center learned of the higher numbers, the health department memo was sent to parents.
The health department also gives the following advice:
Don’t send sick kids to school or child care.
Clean and sanitize your home frequently.
Don’t go swimming if your child has had diarrhea in the last two weeks.
Keep healthy children and adults away from sick family members as much as possible.
Designate one bathroom for use by the infected person only.
A sick adult should not prepare or handle food.