What is shigella?

  • Shigella bacteria cause an infection called shigellosis. Most people with Shigella infection have diarrhea (sometimes bloody), fever, and stomach cramps. Symptoms usually begin 1–2 days after infection and last 7 days.
  • Most people recover without needing antibiotics. However, people with severe illness and those with underlying conditions that weaken the immune system should be given antibiotics. Antibiotics can shorten the duration of illness (by about 2 days) and might help reduce the spread of Shigella to others.
  • Washing your hands often with soap and running water and taking other hygiene measures can help protect you and your loved ones from infection.

Is this a reportable illness?

  • Clusters of 2 or more cases are reportable to CDPH but consult with your school nurse to confirm this diagnosis with parents or the medical provider.
  • Groups of 4 or more cases of vomiting and diarrhea (3 loose stools in a 24 hour period) within a cohort within a 24-hour period should be reported illness to CDPH, regardless of underlying cause.

What do schools need to do next?

  • Sick Person
    • Cases need to be excluded until diarrhea has ceased for 24 hours (stools contained in the diaper or when toilet-trained children are continent and when stool frequency becomes no more than two stools above that child’s normal baseline for the time the child is in the program, even if the stools remain loose) and may not handle shared food for 48 hours after recovery.
  • No action for close contacts.
  • No special cleaning required but encourage good diapering practices
    • Separate diaper-changing areas from play and food preparation areas.
    • Ensure children wear clothing over their diapers to prevent the spread of germs.
    • Wash hands (both yours and the child’s) after each diaper change.
    • For more information, see Diaper-Changing Steps for Childcare Settings.