School closed for disinfecting after Shigella outbreak

Worth County, GA (WALB) – Worth County schools are being disinfected to protect students from a bacterial infection. Schools are closed Monday and Tuesday because of a Shigella outbreak. It is an intestinal bacterial infection.

Heather Green with Worth County Schools said, “How we got it in the school system I don't know, but with so many students having siblings it spread like wildfire.”

And it is not just confined to schools, already 260 possible cases have spread throughout the community. George Hall is a concerned parent. He said, “Kids touch each other at a young age and contact is what is spreading the virus.”

Brenda Greene, District Deputy Health Director explained, “Often times it is spread when individuals put their hands in their mouth when they have not practiced appropriate hygiene.”

While school is closed, classrooms are being cleaned and sanitized. They are fogging, they are bringing in a machine and it kinds of mists the entire room so all surfaces in classrooms are getting fogged.

School buses are also being disinfected. School officials say bus drivers have all been given cleaning solution so daily they will be cleaning down the buses.

Health officials say thorough hand-washing is the best defense against Shigella infections. Sick children should not return to school until they are free of symptoms. Health officials say it is very significant to make sure you do not return to the school setting or daycare setting or the workplace until you have been free of diarrhea for 24 to 48 hours or so. Also, make sure you contact your physician if you have any symptoms.

You should not use over-the-counter medications for diarrhea if you have Shigella. The medications will worsen the illness and prolong bacterial shedding.

Schools will be open Wednesday.