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Stomach Bug Outbreak Persists At RI, Massachusetts Beaches

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Dozens of beach-goers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been sickened by the Shigella Sonnei bacterium. (Credit: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

Dozens of beach-goers in Rhode Island and Massachusetts have been sickened by the Shigella Sonnei bacterium. (Credit: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island health officials say they’re seeing more cases of a stomach bug that was initially linked to Spring Lake Beach in Burrillville.

WPRO reports that an additional 14 cases of the bug tied to the Shigella Sonnei bacterium were reported by people who recently swam at Wallum Lake in Burrillville. Health officials say shigellosis cases have also been reported by residents who swam nearby in Massachusetts.

The reports come after an initial cluster of 134 cases was linked to July 4 swimmers at Spring Lake Beach. That beach has since reopened after Department of Health officials found no recent evidence of fecal coliform bacteria.

Health officials say shigellosis can be prevented with good hand washing, and if people don’t swim when ill with diarrhea or for 48 hours after symptoms disappear.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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