Officials warn of gastrointestinal illness in Genesee County

Shigella bacteria
This illustration made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows the Shigella bacteria. (AP Photo/CDC)

FLINT, Mich. (AP) — Health officials say Genesee County, which includes the city of Flint, has seen dozens of cases of a highly contagious gastrointestinal illness this year.

The Detroit News reports state records show Genesee County had 84 cases of shigellosis through September, while Saginaw County had 47.

Jennifer Eisner, a spokeswoman for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, says more than half of the Genesee County cases are in Flint. Eisner says the state health department has been in contact with Genesee County health officials since May about the illnesses.

Last month, the Genesee County Health Department issued a warning about shigella, the bacteria that causes the illness. Diarrhea, fever, vomiting and stomach cramps may occur. Hand-washing is encouraged as a way to stop the bacteria’s spread.



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