Rockland Health Department: Bacterial Infection Hits the County

According to Rockland Commissioner of Health Patricia Schnabel Rupert, a highly contagious sickness is affecting residents of the county. Rupert stated that the stomach bug Shigellosis, caused by a bacteria known as Shigella, has been confirmed in 17 cases in January, with 66 cases since early November. Dr. Oscar Alleyne, Rockland’s Director of Public Health Planning, stated to CBS New York that the infection was seen in about 80 cases in Brooklyn, before being tested for and found in cases in Rockland. The illness appears to be the worst in children ages 2-4 and if symptoms occur they can include high fever, bloody diarrhea, cramping, and abdominal pain, though not in every case. If such symptoms occur parents are warned not to give their child anti-diarrhea medication and are advise to take them to the pediatrician for treatment. The Health Department also stated that the best way to keep Shigellosis from spreading through households is disinfect all surfaces in the home, especially the bathroom and kitchen, keep sick children home from school, and most importantly wash hands with soap and warm water often.

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