PRESS RELEASE - Update on Pike County Outbreak

Update on Outbreak in Pike County



The Highland County Health Department is working with the Pike County General Health District in its investigation into numerous reports of nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea from individuals who recently visited Long’s Retreat Family Resort.  During this outbreak investigation, Highland County Health Department has identified 60 individuals with symptoms, and Pike County General Health District has identified approximately 140 individuals with symptoms. 


At this time, Pike County General Health District has received 10 lab results of individuals who tested positive for Shigella. The highest onset of those reporting symptoms occurred between July 10th and July 14th.  The source of the Shigella has not been determined, and additional samples are being tested to confirm that Shigella is responsible for this outbreak.


Shigellosis is a diarrheal disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. Shigella is spread easily from person to person, and can also be spread by contaminated food and water.  Most people who are infected with Shigella develop diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps starting a day or two after they are exposed to the bacteria. Shigellosis usually resolves in 5 to 7 days. Some people who are infected may have no symptoms at all, but may still pass the Shigella bacteria to others.  Every year, there are about 500,000 cases of shigellosis in the United States.


The best way to prevent the further spread of Shigella is to wash your hands with soap and warm running water after using the restroom, before cooking and eating, or getting your hands dirty.  If you work in food service, childcare, healthcare, or other jobs where you come into close contact with food or people, you should not go to work if you are sick.  Shigella can continue to be spread for up to a month after symptoms disappear, so proper hand washing is important.  It is also important not to go swimming if you have diarrhea or have had diarrhea in the past two days.  Swimming while you have diarrhea can lead to the spread of Shigella and other illnesses. 


The Highland County Health Department is working with Pike County General Health District, other health departments, the Ohio Department of Health, the Ohio EPA, Ohio Department of Agriculture, CDC, and Long’s Retreat Family Resort to respond to this outbreak.  More information will be provided as it becomes available.