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Intensified control measures for shigellosis outbreaks in a childcare setting

If an outbreak of shigellosis occurs in a childcare setting, use these prevention measures in addition to those listed under information for childcare facilities.

  • Notify parents of children who have been in contact with a sick person. Parents should contact the child’s healthcare provider if their child develops diarrhea.
  • Stop all water play and swimming activities. This includes any play or activities involving water tables, temporary inflatable or rigid fill-and-drain swimming pools and slides, splash pads, or public pool visits. The water can become contaminated and spread Shigella germs.
  • Follow recommended handwashing practices.
    • Schedule and supervise handwashing of all children:
      1. Upon arrival at the facility,
      2. After outdoor play,
      3. Before meals and snacks, and
      4. Upon leaving the childcare setting.
    • Supervise handwashing after diaper changes and using the bathroom.
  • Notify the state or local health department when a child in your facility has been diagnosed with shigellosis.
    • Shigellosis is a reportable condition in all states, meaning all cases must be reported to the state or local health department.
    • Your state or local health department will contact the patient (or patient’s family member) to learn more about their sickness, recommend ways to prevent the spread of Shigella germs, and tell them when it is safe to return to childcare.
    • Public health departments do not share personal information, such as name and birthdate, to protect the privacy of the patient.
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