Shigella confirmed at GT Norman Elementary

REED CITY — A case of Shigella has been confirmed at GT Norman Elementary School in Reed City, according to Reed City Area Public Schools Superintendent Tim Webster.

In a letter sent home on Wednesday, Webster informed parents of the case and provided education about the illness. He said the parent of the student with the infection called the district to apprise administrators of the diagnosis.

Shigella is an infection of the bowels that cases diarrhea. In some cases, it can cause severe dehydration and bloody stools. The illness can last five to seven days and is passed person to person by the fecal-oral route due to improper hand-washing after using the bathroom.

"We had our custodial staff identify the areas where the student had been and we did a very deep clean using a bleach and water mixture," Webster said. "We wiped down all of the desks, counter tops, doorknobs and even wiped down the bus seats and seat backs. So far we haven't had any more cases."

He also instructed staff and students to stay home if they develop symptoms of the Shigella.

Anyone with questions or concerns can contact the Osceola County branch office of the Central Michigan District Health Department at (231) 832-5532.