Health officials are investigating a shigella outbreak after two children who attend Rufus Putnam Daycare tested positive for the infectious disease. One is a 2-year-old girl and the other is a 3-year-old girl.
"We’ve had two positive cultures of Shigella bacteria. Both are children at a day-care center. There are 79 children at the center so we got concerned," said Vicki Whitacre, medical director of the health department.
Approximately 15 people connected to the daycare have had a diarrheal illness, and all are being tested by health officials. Shigella is a bacterium that belongs to a small group of pathogens (including E. coli O157:H7 and Cryptosporidium) that can infect the gut after the ingestion of relatively few organisms, and can cause sudden and severe diarrhea (gastroenteritis) in humans.