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Childcare Provider Information on Shigellosis

Shigellosis is spread from one person to another when Shigella bacteria from the stool (feces) of an infected person get into another person’s mouth. This can happen when contaminated objects, like food or toys, are put in the mouth. Shigellosis can spread easily from person to person, especially in childcare settings where children play closely together.

Ways to help prevent illness from spreading at daycare

Follow strict illness exclusion policies

  • Children with diarrhea, vomiting, or fever need to stay home until recovered.
  • Children diagnosed with shigellosis must not attend daycare or preschool until 48 hours after diarrhea has stopped OR until one stool test is negative for Shigella and until 24 hours after diarrhea has stopped OR until 24 hours after treatment with antibiotics has been started and until 24 hours after diarrhea has stopped.
  • Special restrictions also apply for several other diarrheal diseases.
    • For example, children diagnosed with E. coli O157:H7 or other Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infections must be recovered and must submit two stool samples that are negative for STEC before returning to daycare.

Wash hands

  • Use soap and warm running water for 20 seconds.
  • Monitor young children to ensure adequate handwashing.
  • Wash hands frequently, especially after handling diapers, before preparing food or feeding, and before eating.


  • Clean and sanitize toys, objects, and surfaces at least daily and when soiled.
  • Clean and disinfect diapering area and potty chairs after each use and bathroom toilets, sinks, and toys at least daily and when soiled.
  • Water tables and other sensory tables can spread illness when children’s hands contaminate the water or play materials. Have children wash hands before and after playing at the tables; handwashing should be supervised to make sure it is done correctly. Clean and sanitize tables regularly.

Other information

  • Anyone with diarrheal illness should avoid swimming in public pools or lakes, sharing baths with others, and preparing food for others.

Do you suspect that you have a foodborne or waterborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne/waterborne illnesses.

Updated Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 10:11AM