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July 13, 2014 01:19 PM

Western SD Seeing Increase In Shigellosis Cases

Public health officials say reports of a disease that causes severe diarrhea and fever have risen noticeably in western South Dakota this year.

Rapid City and counties around the Black Hills are reporting a sharp rise in cases of Shigellosis. The disease typically spurs diarrhea, fever and stomach cramps for five to seven days.

The South Dakota Department of Health has recorded more than 500 cases of Shigellosis since late 2013. Nearly half of the reported cases have been in the western portion of the state. There were 11 cases statewide in 2012.

State epidemiologist Lon Kightlinger says Rapid City alone has seen 33 cases so far.

The disease is usually spread through fecal contamination. Kightlinger says it's very preventable with good hygiene.

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