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Child Health Experts Hope To Prevent Future Shigellosis Outbreaks

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Wake County health officials have almost finished testing children at a Raleigh day-care center for shigellosis.

Last week, several children at the KinderCare Learning Center on Millbrook Road became sick with the bacterial infection.

So far, 17 children have tested positive for the illness. They are being treated with antibiotics.

Shigellosis is just one of many diarrheal illnesses. Child health advocates are working on ways to prevent future outbreaks.

The state Division of Public Health and UNC-Chapel Hill are working with Billy Walton, a day-care owner in Greenville. He designed a new diaper-changing station. It includes a touchless sink, a hidden diaper pail you open with your foot and a bacteria-resistant surface.

"You don't even put a pad on the table. To the touch, it's room temperature," he said.

The group is also looking at keeping food areas away from handwashing and changing stations.

"You see it in day care centers among children because of hand-mouth contact," Walton said. "That's why we've got a sink at the food hutch, a sink at the diaper-changing area and a toddler sink for the toddlers."

Researchers do not expect the long-term solution to be cheap, but there are federal grants to help centers pay for the improvements.

Day care providers who are interested in receiving grant money to improve their facilities can call the N.C. Child Care Health and Safety Resource Center during regular business hours at




Ken Bodine, Photographer
Andrea Moody, Producer
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