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Handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent the spread of germs.

A significant increase in acute frequent diarrhea is being reported in Amador County.

Healthcare providers have reported Shigellosis in several individuals. Amador County Environmental Health and Public Health are completing an investigation and have enforced food safety practices at an Ione establishment associated with reports of this illness.

Shigellosis is a disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Most who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. Some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others.

The spread of Shigella can be stopped by frequent and careful handwashing with soap and water. Shigella germs are easily spread. The most common way people become ill is by eating food prepared by someone who is infected with Shigella. This illness can also be spread by touching contaminated surfaces.

Though most individuals do not require medical attention and begin recovery within a few days, Shigella illness can be serious in young children, the elderly, and people with other health conditions.

Dehydration is a key concern. Symptoms of dehydration include a decrease in urination, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when standing up. If you think you or someone you are caring for is severely dehydrated, contact your healthcare provider.

Food service workers who are experiencing these symptoms, as with any illness, should stay home, and should not engage in food preparation or food service while they are ill.

They should be especially diligent about handwashing and use of gloves after they return to work. Healthcare and daycare workers who are ill should also not go to work.

For more information about Shigella visit cdc.gov/shigella/index.html.