Broward health officials warned parents, schools and daycare centers Wednesday about shigellosis, a highly contagious form of diarrhea, after eight confirmed cases of the disease have been reported in the county.
Another 33 probable cases have been reported. Both numbers are up from last year, health officials said.
The Florida Department of Health in Broward County urged parents, schools and daycares to take precautionary action to prevent the spread of shigellosis, which is caused by shigella bacteria. Those bacteria can be spread through personal to personal contact and may cause severe diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps which can last between 48 and 72 hours.
Washing your hands is the best way to prevent getting shigellosis. Toddlers are mostly at risk because the bacteria is often spread through contact with infected stool.
Anyone with symptoms should contact their doctor or health care provider for diagnosis and treatment. Children should be kept out of school and daycare until their symptoms cease and lab cultures test negative for shigella, health officials said.