INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (WOWO): State health officials continue to see an increase in shigellosis cases reported in Indiana, especially in the central portion of the state. Shigellosis is a contagious illness that causes symptoms such as abdominal cramping, fever, vomiting and diarrhea. Around this time last year, approximately 100 cases had been reported statewide. This year that number is more than 1,000.
“Shigellosis has a cyclical trend, so we would expect to see an overall increase in cases some years,” said State Health Commissioner Jerome Adams, M.D., M.P.H. “This year, we have seen a strong association with younger children, which has helped drive the outbreak and significantly increased the number of cases.”
Shigellosis is spread from person-to-person through the fecal-oral route. The bacteria can be transferred easily among children because of their poor hand washing habits and tendency to put things in their mouths. People can also become infected by consuming food or drinks prepared by an infected person or handling or cleaning up feces.
Symptoms usually begin 24 to 72 hours after exposure and last about four to seven days without treatment; however, severe infections may require antibiotics. State health officials recommend visiting a health care provider and being tested for shigellosis if you develop vomiting or diarrhea.