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Officials warn about intestinal bug in central Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS – Health officials are warning about the spread of a bacterial illness in the Indianapolis area that causes abdominal cramping, fever, vomiting and diarrhea.

The Indiana State Department of Health said there has been a marked rise in shigellosis cases in Marion County, as well as neighboring Hamilton, Hancock, Hendricks and Johnson counties.

The Marion County Health Department has confirmed more than 160 cases this year, mostly among young children, after recording 34 cases in 2013, The Indianapolis Star reported. The bacterium is often spread by a sick person swimming at a pool or water park.

“If anyone is experiencing symptoms of diarrhea or vomiting, don’t get into the pool,” state health department epidemiologist Tess Gorden told WISH-TV. “Never change diapers near poolside, always go into restrooms. If you’ve recently been symptomatic with diarrhea still stay out of the pools.”

The discovery of ill people in a pool will force it to close, said Liz Horton, the aquatic center supervisor at Garfield Park in Indianapolis.

“We do have to shut it down for no shorter period of time than 12 hours,” Horton told WTHR-TV.

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