Rates of Bacteria-Borne Disease Surge Among Kansas City Children
An infectious disease that typically affects about 10 people in Kansas City annually has already spread to more than 14 times that number this year, health officials said Friday.
Shigella is spread by direct or indirect fecal-oral contact. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever and vomiting, among other symptoms. It may also cause convulsions in young children.
The Kansas City Health Department has investigated more than 143 cases of the disease since the start of the year, officials said.
When untreated, Shigella bacteria can remain in the body for four weeks or more. Anti-microbial treatment can reduce that to a few days.
The microbes appear to be unusually hardy.
“What is also concerning is that that we are seeing three different strains that are resistant to certain antibiotics,” Tiffany Wilkinson, a health department official, said in a statement.
To prevent further spreading of Shigella, health officials advise hand washing, correct diaper disposal and keeping sick adults and children away from swimming pools.