Local restaurant at center of bacterial outbreak

A local Applebee's is at the center of the breakout of an infectious disease. There have been seven confirmed cases of Shigellosis in patrons who ate at the West Genesee Street restaurant, the Onondaga County Health Department said Tuesday. The disease is caused by a bacteria. It is associated with consuming water or products contaminated with fecal matter.

Those who have eaten at the restaurant recently should be on the lookout for symptoms of painful, mucous, or bloody diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps a day or two after exposure. It may be worse in children.

Even though Shigellosis usually resolves in five to seven days, medical treatment is sometimes necessary. If you experience gastrointestinal symptoms, the Health Department is asking you to contact your healthcare provider and call the Health Department at 443-6607.

The Health Department provides the following tips to prevent the spread of Shigellosis:

- Wash hands with soap carefully and frequently, especially after using the bathroom, after changing diapers, and before preparing foods or beverages

- Dispose of soiled diapers properly

- Disinfect diaper-changing areas after using them

- Keep children with diarrhea out of child care settings

- Supervise hand washing of toddlers and small children after they use the toilet

- Do not prepare food for others while ill with diarrhea

Health Commissioner Cynthia Morrow cautions more cases are expected as the investigation continues.