Local health officials warn of Shigellosis outbreak in Sioux Cit - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Local health officials warn of Shigellosis outbreak in Sioux City

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"It started as a trickle and now we're snowballing here," Tyler Brock, Deputy Director of Siouxland District Health said.

A warning from local health officials as an outbreak hits the Siouxland area.

A nasty bacteria is making the rounds.

The laboratory at the Siouxland District Health Department tests for Shigella, a bacteria, that's spreading through Siouxland.

"We haven't had any severe cases, there hasn't been a lot of hospitalizations, usually it's not something that causes death," Brock said.

That's the good news, but Shigellosis isn't pleasant.

Symptoms include diarrhea, fever, headaches, cramps, and bloody stools.

"Just because you don't have all of them doesn't mean you don't have Shigella, we have talked to a lot of people who have been sick a day or two. They are done but they are still positive," Brock said.

Anyone can get Shigellosis but 60-percent of the cases in the Siouxland area impact children 10-years-old and younger and day cares seem to be the hardest hit.

"There's a lot of people who have this right now and it's really.. really important that people not be cooking food. for groups of people if they have diarrhea, this is an infection that spreads very easily person to person," Brock said.

The best way to prevent the bacteria from making the rounds.. wash your hands, since Shigella is found in fecal matter.

"There are lots of things that cause diarrheal illnesses and they're not all Shigella, the way you handle Shigella is different than how you handle other things," Brock said.

But, the Sioux City area is the only one seeing an outbreak, in Iowa, this year.

Sioux City saw it's first cause of Shigellosis in early October.. but now more than 105 causes have been reported with most victims being young and on the west side of town.If you think you might have Shigellosis, go to your doctor right away because you can take antibiotics that help you get over the illness quicker.

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