Since January 2009, Montgomery County Health Department (MCHD) has received reports of approximately 20 cases of Shigella infections in Montgomery County; however additional cases of diarrheal illness continue to be reported and investigated. At least three cases are associated with day care settings in Montgomery County that required additional followup and control measures.
Shigella is highly contagious, particularly among young children. Transmission in child care settings is more likely to occur when appropriate control measures are not employed. Young children and staff members with infections who are involved in child care settings are subject to state communicable disease control regulations in order to control the spread of Shigella in the community.
Shigella transmission can be prevented by good hand hygiene. Please reinforce hand washing among all - this is an effective prevention measure for many infectious diseases in addition to Shigellosis. Individuals in high-risk settings (health care workers, food handlers, staff or attendees of daycare) should be adhering to proper hygiene practices.