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State Health report: Cases of stomach diseases are up

Always wash your hands frequently to avoid disease. (Twitter Photo/@AZDHS)

A new report from the state health department tracks infectious diseases in Arizona from 2008-2013.

“It describes Arizona’s surveillance system for communicable diseases,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “We’re always monitoring our communities for communicable diseases, and this report shows how that has changed over time.”

Stomach diseases such as E.coli, salmonella, and Shigella increased during the six year span of the report, Christ said. The report also showed a large number of flu cases, as well as a dramatic increase in whooping cough.

“We always are encouraging people to make sure that they take preventative measures,” she said.

Wash your hands frequently, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food, especially ones that you are going to eat raw, she said. Also don’t forget to cook meats to an appropriate temperature — under-cooked meat is a source of E.coli.

“It may not be that there’s more disease out there, it may be that we’re detecting more diseases,” Christ said.

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