Midland Health Department Issues Shigella Diarrhea Alert

The following is a release from the City of Midland.

The Midland Health Department has observed a higher-than-usual incidence of Shigella diarrhea in Midland since late August 2010, and alerted the local medical providers in October 2010.

This bacterial infection invades the gastrointestinal tract producing watery and sometimes bloody diarrhea accompanied by abdominal cramping. The infection responds readily to antibiotics and rarely causes disease severe enough to require hospitalization. The best way to control the spread of Shigella is by prevention.
Shigella spreads from infected gastrointestinal contents, usually on hands. Infection can be transmitted by a fairly small number of bacteria. The most effective prevention involves thorough washing of hands after bathroom use.  
Effective prevention measures include the following:
·      Wash hands thoroughly after bathroom use with soap and water;
·      Avoid inadequate bathroom facilities if at all possible;
·      Use towels instead of dryers if at all possible, and use a towel to turn off the faucet;
·      Carry hand sanitizer for use when adequate hand washing is not possible; and
·      Minimize outside social contact if you or your child has diarrhea of any kind.

The spread of most if not all infectious diarrheas can be minimized using the above measures.
The Midland Health Department continues to monitor the situation and to communicate with the schools, Day Care Centers and medical providers.
Please call the Midland Health Department at 432.681.7613 or your medical provider for further information.