Shigellosis: The Symptoms And Treatment

Man with Shigellosis

Shigellosis, also known as Shigella, is a bacterial infection that causes food poisoning. It is caused by a type of bacteria known as Shigella. Infected individuals can suffer from dysentery, stomach pain, and fever. Shigellosis can spread easily in places such as day-care centers, refugee camps, long-term care facilities, and other similar institutions. Inadequate sanitation is a major factor in the spread of this disease. Read on as we discuss the symptoms of Shigellosis and its prevention and treatment.

The Symptoms of Shigellosis

The symptoms of Shigellosis appear one or two days after you are exposed to the bacteria. These include:

In some cases, you may not experience any symptoms. A small percentage of individuals (around 2 percent) also experience post-infectious arthritis due to Shigella. This is caused by a specific type of bacteria known as Shigella flexneri. A person who has post-infectious arthritis will experience symptoms such as:

There is a genetic factor involved in this type of arthritis. Unfortunately, symptoms can be long-term, and you may develop chronic arthritis.

The Treatment of Shigellosis

If you are diagnosed with Shigellosis, then treatment will depend on the severity of the infection. In the case of mild infections, you are required to take plenty of fluids and maintain a high salt intake. A mild infection is usually resolved within four to eight days.

In the case of severe infections, your doctor will prescribe antibiotics. Symptoms can last three to six weeks in such cases, and you may need to be hospitalized. Standard treatment measures include:

The Prevention of Shigellosis

There is no vaccine available for preventing Shigellosis. However, there are other things that you can do to protect yourself and your family. These include:

If your infant is infected with Shigellosis, you must dispose of off their diapers in a covered and lined garbage can. Make sure to wash their hands (as well as yours) with soap and water after changing their diaper. The area that is used while changing diapers should also be cleaned with a disinfectant. In the case of young children infected with Shigellosis, it is important to keep them away from uninfected children.

Let’s Sum It Up

Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that can cause severe diarrhea. It is most common among young children. The treatment of Shigellosis involves maintaining a high fluid intake to prevent dehydration. If your symptoms are more severe, you may need to take antibiotics.

Are you looking for further advice on the symptoms of Shigellosis? Then book an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine.

Visit or call 469-208-9770 for more information.

Health One Family Medicine

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