HEALTH RISK: Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson has warned againt an outbreak of Shigella bacteria.
HEALTH RISK: Darling Downs Public Health Unit director Dr Penny Hutchinson has warned againt an outbreak of Shigella bacteria. Bev Lacey

Outbreak of Shigella in Cherbourg and Murgon

AN OUTBREAK of the Shigella bacteria has been reported in Cherbourg and Murgon.

The Darling Donws Hospital and Health Service has urged residents to take extra hygiene precautions to manage the outbreak of the highly infectious bacteria, Shigella.

Darling Downs Public Health Unit (DDPHU) Director Dr Penny Hutchinson said Shigella bacteria was transmitted person-to-person or through food.

"The most important thing people can do is thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water, especially after using the toilet or changing nappies and before handling food," Dr Hutchinson said.

"Symptoms include diarrhoea typically containing blood and mucous, accompanied by fever, nausea and vomiting.

"We have alerted the two local hospitals and the GP practices to the outbreak, and provided information posters to community facilities such as schools and child care centres on what control measures should be in place."

Anyone suffering from diarrhoea should see their doctor and get tested.

The Shigella bacteria is mainly found in humans and other primates.

It is one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhoea worldwide, causing an estimate 80-165 million cases a year.

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