There have been reports over the past week of outbreaks of Shigellosis, a nasty stomach bug that has affected a number of schools across the country, with around 100 people showing symptoms reports Chronicle Live .
Otherwise known as dysentery infection, while Shigellosis isn't a life-threatening health concern, it'll have you knocked down for the best part of a week.
Getwestlondon has pulled together some information on the infection - and what you can do to avoid catching it and stop it spreading.
What is Shigellosis?
Shigellosis is an infectious disease that is caused by a specific group of bacteria called Shigella, hence the name.
It is most commonly passed from person to person and the illness most commonly manifests in schools and other childcare environs.
What are the symptoms?
Symptons of Shigellosis include diarrhoea, stomach cramping, fever and nausea - all the usual suspects we associate with tummy bugs.
The effects last for around five to seven days and anyone fighting a bout of Shigellosis is advised to keep hydrated as best possible.
How does it spread and how can I avoid catching it?
NHS guidance says the bug moves primarily from person to person through poor hygiene measures, i.e. not washing your hands thoroughly after using the toilet.
In the UK, many cases are spread through families and situations people are in close contact, such as in schools, nurseries, military bases and day-centres.
What is being done about it?
Public Health England is working with some schools to limit the spread and arrange additional cleaning. Letters have also been sent to parents and supervised hand-washing introduced.
If my child contracts the bug, what do I do?
Any child who is believed to have contracted Shigellosis is advised to stay at home for at least five days until they are cleared to avoid spreading the infection.
How can it be treated?
Antibiotics are the main method of treating Shigellosis - but as with many bugs, prevention is the best cure and people are encouraged to be vigilant and not risk spreading the infection if they suffer any symptoms.
While unpleasant, Shigellosis is rarely serious or dangerous. Ensuring you or your child is well hydrated is important.
It is also important if a child is showing symptoms your family doctor is notified.
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