The City of Lubbock Health Department has issued a public health advisory for shigellosis after a massive increase in reported cases of the disease.

In the first four months of 2016, the health department saw 110 reported cases of shigellosis. In 2015, zero cases of the disease were reported in that same time period.

According to Lubbock health officials, the shigellosis outbreak in the area began in September 2015 and peaked in November. Transmission of the disease continued, however.

Shigellosis is caused by the bacterium shigella and is spread by someone with the disease who hasn't properly washed their hands via direct contact or food and drink.

Symptoms of the disease include: diarrhea, abdominal cramping, fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms can persist for 4-7 days, and develop within 1-2 days after being exposed to the bacterium. The disease can be treated with antibiotics.

According to the CDC, Shigellosis is prevented simply by washing your hands with soap, specifically before and after you eat or handle food, use the bathroom or change a baby's diaper.

The City of Lubbock is recommending that those with any diarrheal disease including shigellosis stay home for at least one day after they are no longer running a fever or have diarrhea, or are given approval from a physician. In addition, the city suggests those with shigellosis or other diarrheal illnesses stay out of swimming pools.