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Shigella Infection Symptoms, Causes, Complications, Diagnosis and Treatment

What Is Shigella Infection ?

It is an intestinal illness triggered by a bacterium that belongs to the family of shigella. The infection is known to source bloody diarrhea. In addition to this, the infection spreads by direct exposure to the bacteria present in feces. This is possible when a worker of child care center does not clean the hands thoroughly after helping a child with toilet training or after changing a diaper. The bacteria responsible for causing Shigella infection can transmit into a healthy body by means of consuming contaminated water or food.

Commonly, the infection is known to occur in children between 2-4 years of ages. Typically, mild instances of shigella infection resolve on its own within a time span of 5-7 days. In case doctors feel the need for treatment, he or she mostly suggests antibiotics.

What Are The Symptoms Of Shigella Infection ?

Often, the indications of shigella infection appear 24-48 hours after being exposed to shigella. Common symptoms include:

  • Fever.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Diarrhea, usually containing mucus or blood.

No matter a person does not develops the symptoms associated with shigella infection, yet his or her stools are contagious.

When Is The Right Time To Seek Medical Assistance ?

It is advice to seek prompt medical help in case of the following situations:

  • You have intense diarrhea that is causing dehydration and weight loss.
  • You have diarrhea that contains blood.
  • You have diarrhea accompanied with a fever.

What Causes Shigella Infection ?

Accidentally ingesting the bacteria serves as the basis to become a healthy person, infected. Such tends to occur if:

  • Your child has the infection, and after changing his or her diaper, you forgot to wash your hands. If you eat or cook the meal with those same contaminated hands, than you or someone in your family who consumes the food can also become infected.
  • The common way of bacteria transmission is by direct contact with an infected person. The bacteria spread into the environment through tiny droplets, when such a person laughs, talks, coughs or sneezes. Inhaling the droplets can lead to the transmission of bacteria into a healthy body.
  • Besides, drinking contaminated water can also source the occurrence of shigella infection. Water can get contaminated by sewage, or if someone with the infection swims in it.

What Are The Complications Of Shigella Infection ?

Rarely, the infection leads to complications, however when it does, these may include:

How Is Shigella Infection Diagnosed ?

Symptoms of shigella infection mimic the ones of many other health diseases. Therefore to confirm its diagnosis, the doctor can suggest stool test. Test results will reveal the bacteria responsible for sourcing the symptoms.

How Is Shigella Infection Treated ?

Mostly, shigella infection needs no medical aid to be treated. Symptoms resolve on its own, in case the infection is mild or the general health of the patient is good. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration, therefore, it is important to intake more and more fluids, to deal with the dehydrating effects.

Antibiotics are merely prescribed for serious cases of shigella infection.

By : Natural Health News

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