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Bacterial infections prompt investigation

Local health officials in Madison are investigating a small outbreak of Shigellosis, a bacterial infection caused by consuming food or water containing fecal matter.

The Dane County Health Department says 18 cases have been reported since September 20, only one fewer than in all of last year.

Children and young adults make up the majority of Dane County's cases. Only one person over 40 has gotten sick.

Health officials say 12 of the cases are genetically similar. They could be related, but officials are not sure how.

All but three of the cases are from Madison, and the others are from nearby Monona, Stoughton, and Belleville.

Shigellosis can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. Health officials urge people to wash their hands often, and stay home if they're sick.