Shigella Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, Treatment

Infection Shigella or shigellosis is a highly contagious intestinal infection caused by a family of bacteria Shigella. The main symptom is diarrhea, which is often bloody.

Children under 5 years of age are most likely to get the infection Shigella, but this infection can occur at any age. Mild cases usually go away on their own within a week. When treatment is needed, doctors generally prescribe antibiotics.

1. Causes and risk factors

Infection occurs when you accidentally ingest bacteria Shigella. This can happen when you:

  • Touch the mouth. Direct person-to-person contact is the most common mode of transmission. For example, if you don’t wash your hands properly after changing an infected child’s diaper Shigellayou can get infected.
  • Eat contaminated food. Infected people who handle food can spread the bacteria to people who eat the food. Food can also be infected with bacteria Shigella if it grows on soil that contains dirt.
  • Swallowing contaminated water. Water can be infected with bacteria Shigella either from feces or from people with infections Shigella swimming there.

risk factors

  • Children. Children under 5 years of age are most likely to get the infection Shigellaalthough all ages can experience this infection.
  • Live in group housing or participate in group activities. Close contact with other people spreads the bacteria from person to person. Plague Shigella more common in day care centers, public swimming pools, nursing homes, prisons, and military barracks.
  • Live or travel to areas with poor sanitation.
  • Men who have sex with men due to direct or indirect oral-anal contact during sexual activity.

2. Symptoms

Reported HealthlineHere are some of the symptoms of infection Shigella things to watch out for:

  • Frequent bouts of watery diarrhea (main symptom).
  • Stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting may also occur.
  • Many people with shigellosis also have blood or mucus in their stool, and they may develop a fever.

Symptoms usually begin within 1–2 days after contact with Shigella. In some cases, symptoms of infection may appear as little as 12 hours after contact.

Diarrhea and signs shigellosis others usually last between 5–7 days. Minor infections that last a few days may not require treatment.

The bacteria may still be in the stool for weeks after symptoms have gone. This means that a person has the potential to spread the infection to other people for several weeks, even if the person is feeling better.

It’s important to stay hydrated between bouts of diarrhea. Call your doctor if diarrhea lasts for more than 3 days. This is very important especially when one cannot hold food or water. Dehydration is a real danger associated with infection Shigella.

Shigella Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, TreatmentShigella bacteria illustration (

3. Diagnosis

Diarrhea and bloody diarrhea can be caused by a number of diseases. Confirming infection Shigella involves taking a stool sample for testing in a laboratory. It aims to determine the presence of bacteria Shigella or poison.

Also Read: 5 Fruits and Vegetables that You Need to Consume during Diarrhea, Let It Relieve Quickly!

4. Treatment

Compiled from Mayo Clinicinfection Shigella usually lasts 5 to 7 days. Replacing fluids lost from diarrhea may be the only treatment needed, especially if the patient is in general health and infection Shigella experienced lightly.

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1. Drugs

Consult a doctor before taking over-the-counter medications to treat diarrhea. Diarrhea can be caused by several conditions and it is possible that these medications can make the condition worse.

If the laboratory test is positive for infection Shigellaover-the-counter medicines that contain bismuth subsalicylate may help reduce the frequency of diarrhea and shorten the duration of illness. However, this drug is not recommended for children, pregnant women, or people who are allergic to aspirin.

Avoid taking over-the-counter antimotility drugs, such as loperamide (Imodium) and drugs containing a combination of diphenoxylate and atropine (Lomotil). It is not recommended for infections Shigella because it can decrease the body’s ability to clear bacteria and make the condition worse.

2. Antibiotics

For infection Shigella In severe cases, antibiotics may shorten the duration of illness. However, some bacteria Shigella can become resistant to the drug. So, your doctor may not prescribe antibiotics unless the infection is severe.

Antibiotics may also be needed for infants, older adults, and people with HIV infection, as well as in situations where there is a high risk of spreading the disease.

3. Fluid and salt replacement

For healthy adults, drinking water may be sufficient to counter the dehydrating effects of diarrhea. Children may benefit from rehydration fluids sold at pharmacies.

Children and adults who are severely dehydrated need treatment in a hospital emergency room. They will be given salt and fluids intravenously. Intravenous hydration provides the body with water and essential nutrients more quickly than oral fluids.

5. Prevention

quote Cleveland Clinicyou can reduce the risk of getting shigellosis with this way:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly and often with soap and water, especially before and after eating, after using the bathroom, before preparing food, and after coming into contact with an infected person.
  • Wash the food well and cook the food until it is fully cooked.
  • Avoid swallowing pond water, lakes, and so on.
  • Dispose of soiled diapers in the trash with a lid.
  • Follow instructions regarding safe food and water when traveling to other countries.
    Wait a week after your partner recovers from diarrhea before engaging in sexual activity.
Shigella Infection: Causes, Symptoms, Complications, Treatmenthand washing illustration ( Ketut Subiyanto)

6. Complications that can occur

Infection Shigella usually resolves without complications. However, it may take weeks or months before bowel habits return to normal. Complications that can occur may include:

  • Dehydration. Persistent diarrhea can lead to dehydration. Signs and symptoms include dizziness, lightheadedness, lack of tears in children, sunken eyes, and dry diapers. Severe dehydration can lead to shock and death.
  • seizures. Some children with infection Shigella have a seizure. Seizures are more common in children who have a high fever, but can also occur in children who do not have a high fever. It is not known whether the seizures were caused by fever or infection Shigella itself. If your child has a seizure, call the doctor immediately.
  • Rectal prolapse. In these conditions, straining during bowel movements or colitis can cause the mucous membrane or lining of the rectum to move out through the anus.
  • Hemolytic uremic syndrome. Complications Shigella which is rare is more often caused by a type of bacteria E. coli than bacteria Shigellacan cause a low red blood cell count (hemolytic anemia), a low platelet count (thrombocytopenia), and acute kidney failure.
  • Toxic megacolon. This rare complication occurs when the colon becomes paralyzed, preventing a bowel movement or passing gas. Signs and symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling, fever, and weakness. If left untreated, the colon can rupture and cause peritonitis, a life-threatening infection that requires emergency surgery.
  • Reactive arthritis. Reactive arthritis develops in response to infection. Signs and symptoms include joint pain and inflammation, usually in the ankles, knees, feet and hips; redness, itching, and discharge in one or both eyes (conjunctivitis); and pain when urinating (urethritis).
  • Blood stream infection (bacteremia). Infection Shigella can damage the lining of the intestine. In rare cases, bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the damaged lining of the intestine and cause a bloodstream infection.

It’s a good idea to see a doctor right away if you or someone at home has severe diarrhea, fever, or stomach cramps. If you are diagnosed with an infection Shigella and cannot hold fluids, tell the doctor.

Most people with infection Shigella will recover in 4–7 days, but can still pass the bacteria on to other people for up to 2 weeks after recovering. People with severe infections may be sick for 3–6 weeks.

Also Read: Toxic Megacolon: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment