SHERMAN, TX-We told you last week about an outbreak of Shigella in Sherman, now other Grayson county residents came down with the highly contagious bacterial infection. As of Thursday,19 residents have been diagnosed with the sickness.
Five new cases of Shigella have been diagnosed since we first reported on the illness last Friday: 3 in Denison, 1 in Howe and 1 in Van Alstyne. There have also been new cases reported at a Sherman elementary school.
Grayson County Health Department's Amanda Ortez said the most recent Shigella case was reported Tuesday in a Sory Elementary School student.
"Mainly we're seeing several cases within the sherman independent school district, specifically at Sory," she said.
Assistant Superintendent Dr. Tyson Bennett said the health department notified him of three new cases at Sherman schools.
"We don't really know when it started or where it started, we're really working with the Grayson County Health Department and they're providing us with as much information as they can," he said.
There are now 10 Shigella cases in Sherman schools, with 7 kids in Sory Elementary, 1 in Dillingham Intermediate, 1 in Jefferson and 1 in Fairview Elementary School.
"Shigella Sonnei is a bacteria that's basically transmitted from oral fecal route of transmission...so that is concerning, especially with young children," said Ortez.
Symptoms include 100-degree fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps and vomiting.
Ortez said they are still investigating where the outbreak started.
"We're working closely with not only Sherman ISD, but even the patients that we're contacting to complete a case report and try to determine the source or the origin of this particular outbreak," she said.
In the meantime, Bennett said the school district has purchased more antibacterial hand sanitizer for students and extra staff have been brought in to ramp up cleaning efforts.
"We're continuing to be aggressive in cleaning our facilities, continually night and day, working with students on proper hygiene that's very important as a preventative measure," he said.
Sherman ISD said they plan to send letters home Friday to notify parents of the current status of Shigella in their schools.
"It'll be a public health concern from the Grayson County Health Department, it will provide them additional information, just updated information on the Shigella outbreak and also information on preventative measures and things we're doing," he said.
If you're experiencing any Shigella symptoms, call your doctor immediately.