9 confirmed with stomach illness in Rowan

9 confirmed with stomach illness in Rowan

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by BEN THOMPSON / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Follow: @BenTNews | Email

WCNC.com

Posted on November 6, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 7 at 6:10 AM

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. -- Health officials in Rowan County reported nine cases of Shigellosis Wednesday.  Rowan is now the second county to report cases of the infectious disease caused by Shigella.

Koontz Elementary School officials are working closely with the Communicable Disease Department of the Rowan County Health Department to investigate two recent confirmed cases at the school.  They sent home a note with students Tuesday explaining the bacteria.

Click here to read the Shigellosis fact sheet, and to view the letter Koontz Elementary School administrators sent home to parents.

“We've sanitized, we've checked that the school has the correct sanitation.  We've reviewed sanitation methods,” said Nina Oliver, program supervisor at Rowan County Health Department.

Shigellosis symptoms come in the form of frequent, watery stools, fever and stomach cramps, starting a day or two after exposure to the bacteria.  Health officials say the watery stools can be bloody.

To prevent Shigellosis, children with diarrhea should stay out of school and child care settings; wash your hands with soap often; do not prepare food if you're ill with diarrhea; and avoid swallowing water from ponds, lakes or untreated pools.

“There could be a possibility of surrounding counties getting it, but we're doing a good job trying to contain it,” said Oliver.

Cabarrus County Health Alliance told NBC Charlotte Shigellosis numbers in their county continue to rise.  So far, 99 cases have been reported, of which 25 have been confirmed by positive lab tests.

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