Health officials in Ohio's capital city say they're investigating more than 770 cases of a bacterial illness that primarily affects young children, and they're urging parents to take precautions to help stop the outbreak.
Columbus Public Health officials say they haven't seen such a large number of Shigella cases in the past decade. The health commissioner says many of the cases are linked to childcare centers and locations where young children are in close contact. Shigella bacteria cause an intestinal infection that can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. It can be transmitted through human waste and can be spread if care isn't taken when changing diapers and cleaning up after bathroom breaks. Officials are urging increased hand-washing among children and caregivers and telling parents to keep sick kids home from day care.