Sharp rise in infectious illnesses at day cares

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. (KSDK) - A dangerous bacteria is spreading among kids in St. Louis County and today it forced the shutdown of the Manchester Aquatic Center after a swimmer was diagnosed with the illness.

The director of the St. Louis County Department of Health's Division of Communicable Disease Control, Dr. Faisal Khan, says there were 111 cases of Shigella reported since the beginning of the year.

"We have noticed a sharp increase in the number of Shigella cases reported to us. It's a bacterial infection that causes abdominal pain and diarrhea. It's most commonly seen in day cares."

Khan says there were only seven cases reported last year between January 1and July 2.

He believes the number one reason for the rise in infections is a breakdown in the standard operating procedures when it comes to cleanliness and sanitation

The guest from the Manchester Aquatic Center was diagnosed with Shigella and a parasitic illness called Cryptosporidium.

She went to the Aquatic Center about seven a days ago.

Cryptosporidium can be transferred very easily in pool water that's been contaminated.

Carrie Dickhans of the health department is warning people to take caution.

"Really be careful that you're showering and that you're clean before entering the pool," she said.

Dickhans commented on the female who contracted Shigella and Cryptosporidium.

"It's possible she contracted if from the pool or it's possible that she had it when she got into the pool," she said.

The Manchester Aquatic Center is expected to be open tomorrow. It was heavily sanitized.


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