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Shigella
27 Jan' 21

Shigella

 

Shigellosis (shigelella infection) is an intestine infection caused by the shigella bacteria family. The most common symptom of shigella infection is bloody diarrhoea. 

Shigella is a very contagious disease. When people come into contact with and consume minute amounts of bacteria from a shigella-infected person's feces, they become infected with shigella. This can occur in a child care facility when staff employees do not thoroughly wash their hands after changing diapers or assisting toddlers with toilet training. Shigella bacteria can also be spread by contaminated food, as well as through drinking or swimming in contaminated water.  
 
Shigella infection is more common in children under the age of five. A moderate case will normally go away on its own after a week. Antibiotics are commonly prescribed by doctors when treatment is required.  
 
Symptoms  
 
Shigella infection signs and symptoms normally appear a day or two after a shigella encounter. However, it could take up to a week for it to develop.  
 
The following are possible signs and symptoms:  
  • Diarrhea is a common ailment (often containing blood or mucus)  
  • Constipation or stomach cramps  
  • Fever  
  • Vomiting or nausea  
Symptoms usually last between five and seven days. Symptoms may linger longer in some cases. After contracting shigella, some persons experience no symptoms. Their faeces, however, may still be contagious for a few weeks.  
 
When should you see a doctor? 
If you or your child develops bloody diarrhoea or diarrhoea severe enough to cause weight loss and dehydration, call your doctor or go to the nearest emergency room. Also, if you or your child develops diarrhoea and a fever of 101 F (38 C) or higher, see your doctor.  
 
Causes  
  • When you swallow shigella germs by inadvertently, you become infected. This can occur if you:  
  • Put your hand to your lips. The most prevalent way for the disease to spread is through direct person-to-person contact. For example, if you don't wash your hands well after changing a shigella-infected child's diaper, you risk being sick.  
  • Consume tainted food. People who handle food who are infected can pass the bacteria on to those who eat it. 
 
Risk factors   
  • Shigella infection is more common in children under the age of five. Shigella, on the other hand, can infect persons of any age.  
  • Participating in group activities or living in group housing. Bacteria transmit from person to person when humans are in close proximity. In child care facilities, community wading pools, nursing homes, jails, and military barracks, Shigella epidemics are more likely.  
  • Living or traveling in an unsanitary environment. Shigella infection is more common in those who live or travel in underdeveloped nations.  
  • Being a male who engages in intercourse with other men. Because of direct or indirect oral-anal contact during sex, males who have sex with men are more likely to contract shigella. 
Complications 
Shigella infection normally goes away on its own without causing any problems. Your bowel habits may take weeks or months to return to normal.   
  • Dehydration. Dehydration can be caused by constant diarrhoea. Lightheadedness, dizziness, absence of tears in youngsters, sunken eyes, and dry diapers are all signs and symptoms. Dehydration that is severe enough can result in shock and death.  
  • Seizures. Seizures can occur in children who have contracted shigella. Seizures are more likely in children with a high temperature, although they can also happen in children with a low fever. It's unclear if the seizures are caused by the fever or by the shigella infection. If your child experiences a seizure, call the doctor immediately. 
  • Rectal prolapse is a condition in which a person's bowel Straining during bowel movements or inflammation of the large intestine can cause the rectum's mucous membrane or lining to move out through the anus in this disease.  
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a kind of hemolytic uremic syndrome. This uncommon shigella complication, which is more usually caused by a form of E. coli bacterium than by shigella bacteria, can induce hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and acute kidney failure.  
  • Toxic megacolon This is a rare problem in which your colon gets paralyzed, stopping you from passing gas or having a bowel movement. Stomach pain and swelling, as well as fever and weakness, are signs and symptoms.  
  • Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that occurs when the body' Reactive arthritis is a type of arthritis that develops in reaction to an infection. Joint pain and inflammation, mainly in the ankles, knees, feet, and hips; redness, itching, and discharge in one or both eyes (conjunctivitis); and uncomfortable urination are some of the signs and symptoms (urethritis).  
  • Infections of the bloodstream (bacteremia). Shigella infection can cause damage to the intestinal lining. Shigella germs can enter the circulation and cause a bloodstream infection in rare circumstances due to a damaged gut lining. 
Prevention   
Despite the fact that researchers are still working on developing a shigella vaccine, none is now accessible. To prevent the spread of shigella, take the following precautions:  
  • Hands should be washed often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.  
  • When little children wash their hands, keep an eye on them.  
  • Dispose of soiled diapers correctly.  
  • After each use, disinfect the diaper-changing area.  
  • If you have diarrhea, don't cook for others.  
  • Children with diarrhea should be kept at home instead of going to child care, playgroups, or school.  
  • Avoid drinking water from untreated ponds, lakes, or pools.  
  • If you have diarrhea or have recently recovered from diarrhea, avoid sexual activity with them.  
  • Wait till you've fully recovered before going swimming. 

 

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