Shigellosis closes Windham Schools starting 3/23

Posted at 9:42 PM, Mar 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-22 21:46:05-04

Windham Exempted Village School District sent a letter alerting the public that all its schools would be closed on Wednesday and Thursday due to the spread of the Shigellosis disease among students. 

The school said the district is closing early for spring break as a precaution to help confine a potential spread of Shigellosis, an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella.

Most people infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacterium, the district reported. The diarrhea is often bloody.

The district said Shigellosis usually clears up in five to seven days. In some cases, especially with younger children and the elderly, the diarrhea can be severe enough that the patient needs to be hospitalized. A severe infection with high fever may also be associated with seizures in children under age 2.

Some people who are infected may have no symptoms, but can still pass the Shigella bacteria on to others, the district reported. 

A healthcare provider should be contacted if the diarrhea is persistent, the school said. 

The school confirmed two cases and five pending cases of the disease in its schools, according to the Portage County Health Department. 

When spring break ends, the school urges parents to keep children at home if they are showing signs or symptoms of the disease. Instead, contact School Nurse Pat Stevenson at 330-326-2711 x501.