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Intestinal bacterial infection making a splash in Kalamazoo


KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Hand washing is normally a practice that Health Officials heavily recommend during flu season but Kalamazoo County Health officials are saying good hygeine could help you avoid a nasty outbreak of Shigellosis that has appeared this summer in Kalamazoo County.

Typically Kalamazoo County records only 3 to 5 cases a year.  So far this year they have seen over two dozen cases, most of them in just the last month.  There may be many others that have not been reported. 

The Health Department has issued an advisory to local schools, camps and doctors warning them that it’s a problem and to watch for symptoms of the bacteria. 

In a news letter from last month,  R.N. Mike Phillips writes that seven of the nine cases they had at that point came from seven different zip codes and they had no idea where the bug came from.

They haven't found anything to link the cases either.  

The intestinal infection can give you abdominal cramps, diarrhea and fever for up to a week and usually goes away on its own.

Older and younger victims are vulnerable to dehydration and more serious complications.