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Bacterial Illness Spikes in Springfield

An illness caused by a bacterial infection has been occurring throughout Springfield, and has infected at least 14 people in the past month. KSMU's Adam Hammons reports.

This is a spike, considering the average number of cases per year in Greene County is around two or three. That's according to Jaci McReynolds, the spokeswoman for the Springfield Greene County Health Department.

The illness is called shigellosis and is caused by a bacteria that infects the intestines. It's passed easily from person to person on contaminated hands, surfaces, or even food and water.

The sypmtoms of the illness are mild to severe diarrhea, a fever, and sometimes blood in a person's stool. These symptoms, while uncomfortable, are generally not serious and usually disappear within five to seven days.

According to McReynolds, the illness could last as long as our community lets it last.

If you think you have shigellosis drink plenty of fluids and watch for signs of dehydration. McReynolds advises anyone with the symptoms of shigellosis to avoid swimming pools, creeks or streams, especially during the upcoming holiday weekend.