Genesee County saw a dramatic increase in cases of Shigellosis in 2016.

A final weekly report by the Michigan Disease Surveillance System shows 136 cases were reported in 2016, up from an average of about 20 cases in previous 12-month periods.

A federal study, however, has been unable to link the outbreak to a single origin, such as the ongoing Flint water crisis.

Shigellosis is the illness caused by the Shigella bacteria. Its symptoms typically include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever.

Health Department officials in Genesee County contacted the Centers for Disease Control in October after 84 cases of gastrointestinal illness were recorded in Genesee County through the end of September.

Officials recommend diligent hand washing in order to void spreading or contracting the bacteria.

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