UPDATE: Here's a map of the locations of the shigella outbreak (click for a larger version).
Michele Breheim, epidemiologist with the Racine Health Department, said the city has received a handful of reports of shigella in the past week. All day care centers and schools in the city have been notified of the outbreak, and any child found with the bacteria needs two negative stool samples before they can return to day care, Breheim said.
The above map did little help city officials concentrate efforts in one particular area because the cases have been so scattered, Breheim said. City officials tried to stop the outbreak in its first days, but cases spread outside of the day cares and schools. "It's in the community," Breheim said.
The best preventative method for the outbreak is to wash your hands, she said.
A couple of months back we reported on outbreaks of two types of bacterias in local schools and day care centers. The outbreaks have continued, according to city health officials.
Seven new cases of campylobacter and 23 new cases of shigella were reported in June. Health officials had hoped the end of school would decrease the number of cases, but the numbers actually increased. There have been 42 cases of shigella and 17 cases of campylobacter reported in the city in the past two months.
Health officials said at the July 15 Board of Health meeting that they didn't know why the bacterias continued to spread. There didn't appear to be a connection between all of the cases, they said.
Both bacterias spread through oral-fecal contamination. Symptoms include diarrhea and vomiting.
Campylobacter is typically spread through contact with uncooked poultry, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It's rarely spread person to person, though can spread through stool to oral contamination.
Shigella is typically spread from person to person, according to the CDC. The bacteria is passed fom stool to oral contamination.
Health officials also reported at their monthly board meeting that there were 31 confirmed cases of H1N1 (swine) flu reported in the city in June. Wisconsin continues to lead the nation, by far, in H1N1 cases. The state's 6,031 cases is at least 1,300 more than Texas, the next closest state.
Local health officials are gearing up for a busy flu season. The H1N1 vaccine, likely available in August, will require two shots in addition to the normal flu vaccine. That means three times the number of shots this year at a time when budgets are already tight.
But the shots are necesssary, officials said, because the H1N1 virus could be more potent - and deadly - when it makes its second time around later this year.