Ingham County's Health Department confirms 26 cases of the virus shigella in the area. 24 others are still being tested.
The virus began at Willow Elementary School in Lansing with just a few cases. It is contracted from food, and spreads quickly. Symptoms include bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
Monday, Ingham County's Dr. Dean Sienko says many of the new cases are siblings and parents of Willow students. This means the virus is spreading despite education about hand washing and hygiene that helps prevent it.
The new cases add a new threat. Sienko and his staff are interviewing the people who have been exposed to be sure that they don't work with healthcare, in daycares, or in food preparation. Exposure for anyone with an occupation that could spread the virus could create a very serious epidemic.