Two confirmed Shigella cases at Evart Elementary School


EVART — Two students at Evart Elementary are confirmed to have a highly contagious infection known as Shigella.

On March 3, Evart Public Schools received a notification from the Central Michigan District Health Department regarding two cases of Shigella in the school.

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.

According to the notification sent home to families, the infection is highly contagious. Students and staff who contract the illness should not come to school until three days after the last bout of diarrhea.

Mecosta County Health Officials advise individuals do not take diarrhea medication for Shigella because it can cause additional injury to the bowel.

Evart Public Schools is taking precautions regarding the outbreak.

"Custodians are cleaning the school thoroughly," said Howard Hyde, superintendent of Evart Public Schools. "We have hired an extra custodian and have been working with the custodians to make sure everything is cleaned. We also have been in contact with the health department."

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