Shigellosis has been reported at schools in the Guildford and Woking area, with 17 confirmed cases it’s been reported.
Letters were sent to parents of children at schools in the area, informing them of the outbreak.
According to The Mirror, the letter said: “We are aware of a number of families where older children and adults have also been affected.”
Public Health England (PHE) has contacted schools and GPs in the area to provide advice on how to prevent the infection from spreading.
What is shigellosis?
Shigellosis is a vomiting and diarrhoea bug which can cause a high fever, stomach cramps and tenses – feeling the need to pass stool, even when the bowels are empty.
The bug could also lead to post-infectious arthritis in about two per cent of patients, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The joint pain can last for months; possible even years.
On very rare occasions, shigellosis could cause blood stream infections and seizures.
Symptoms usually begin to show one to two days after exposure.
How to deal with shigellosis
Children and adults suffering from diarrhoea were both been advised to stay away from school or work for two days.
Dr David Kirrage, consultant with PHE West Midlands Health Protection Team, said: “People who have had diarrhoea should stay away from work or school until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
“If Shigella is suspected, they should not return to school or work until stool samples have been tested, and results show samples are free from the infection.”
If you do become infected, the best thing to do is to stay hydrated, according to Dr Luke Powles, GP and Bupa Health Clinics.
Dr Powles told Express.co.uk: “If you do contract shigellosis, the most important thing is to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water.
“Seek advice from a medical professional, your GP or call 111 if you don’t feel better in 48 hours or if you spot blood in your diarrhoea.
“It’s better to call before going to see a GP too – as this will again reduce the risk of infecting others.
“If a child is suffering from the symptoms, you should seek medical advice as soon as possible.”