150 cases of Shigella reportedly confirmed in Kansas City

There have reportedly been 150 confirmed cases of Shigella in Kansas City, Missouri, prompting city health officials to warn the public of the disease outbreak that causes high fever and abdominal problems.

Fox 4 KC, citing newly released numbers from the Kansas City Health Department on Friday, reports the city usually sees 10 cases of Shigella per year, but so far in 2015 there have already been 150 reported cases. From Jan. 1 to July 1, there were only 16 cases, but in the last two months there have been 134 additional cases. The outbreak is 15-times the annual average.

Shigella is an infectious bacterial illness that causes high-spiking fever, upward of 104 to 105 degrees. Doctors say Shigella could also cause seizures. The majority of the patients are children and many cases have been reported in daycares and elementary schools, according to the station.

Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, vomiting and fever. They say antibiotic treatment will help, though it requires culture testing to determine which medicine is needed.

“What we are seeing with this which is unusual is we’re seeing three different patterns of resistance,” Kansas City Health Department Media Spokesperson Bill Snook told Fox 4 KC. “They need to go to a doctor because antibiotics will help less the duration of the virus.”

Doctors say the best prevention is to wash your hands with soap and water, and then using paper towels to dry your hands because hand towels may capture lingering bacteria.

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