Public urged to take precautions following shigellosis outbreak in Fort Stockton and Pecos County

(Photo: CDC)

PECOS COUNTY, Tx. (KOSA) -- The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging the public to take precautions after 27 cases of shigellosis were reported in Fort Stockton and Pecos County.

According to DSHS, shigellosis is a diarrheal illness caused by bacteria that can spread through the stool of sick people or animals or by consuming contaminated food or water.

The illness can cause fever, nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps.

Anyone with these symptoms is urged to contact their health care provider and be tested for shigellosis. People who are sick should stay home from work or school until they are diarrhea and fever free for at least 24 hours.

DSHS recommends that you wash your hands frequently, especially before preparing or serving food, before eating, after using the bathroom, after changing a diaper, and after cleaning areas where pets or livestock live.

The first patients involved in the outbreak became sick in October. Three patients have been hospitalized.

Authorities have not found a source of the outbreak at this time.