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Arkansas Department of Health: Shigella now Statewide, Affecting Daycares

BENTONVILLE, AR-- Inspectors were back out at Walmart's home office in Bentonville on Monday.
BENTONVILLE, AR-- Inspectors were back out at Walmart's home office in Bentonville on Monday.

They were following up on a health department investigation that started on June 18th. That's when a portion of the cafeteria had to be closed after several employees reported getting sick.

The bacteria infecting people is called Shigella.

And the common link between those getting sick was that they all ate from the cafeteria's Salsaritas restaurant.

The first inspection there found nine violations. The second inspection from last week found seven violations.

"Improper food holding temperatures, cooking temperatures, contaminated equipment, personal hygiene of the food employees," says Cary Gray with the Arkansas Department of Health.

No violations were found during Monday's follow up inspection.

However, the health department is continuing to follow up on reports from those who say they became ill.

Now, we're learning the bacteria backlash spans far beyond Walmart workers.

The state health department has so far confirmed 42 cases of Shigella, stemming from the Walmart home office.

171 probable cases are also under investigation.
There are 367 statewide. And many of them are popping up in daycares.

According to the health department, daycare centers are considered "high risk" because of the diaper changing and children who aren't able to practice proper hand washing.

Because the illness spreads so quickly, children are required to be removed from daycare for at least five days after using an antibiotic.

The daycare's staff is also required to have treatment depending on their symptoms.

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