As summer approaches health officials in at least four counties are monitoring unusually high levels of reported Shigella infections. In Sedgwick County, Kansas, 52 cases of Shigella this year, an increase of 32 over last years total for the year. In Lubbock County, Texas, officals are hoping that a nearly 8 month long outbreak of Shigella will fade as schools close. In Macon County, Illinois, an outbreak that began in April appears to be persisting, according to health officals. Finally, in Greene County, Missouri, more than a dozen new cases of Shigella have been reported.
Shigella infections are passed through fecal oral transmission. The best way to protect against transmission is thorough and proper handwashing, especially by food service workers, and care providers.