Shigella infection is a disease brought about by the shigella bacteria. The infection is quite common in settings where the hygiene is poor and can sometimes spread in communities. The infection is prevalent during the summer than winter season.
Toddlers aged 2-4 are likely to be infected by shigella. Most cases are linked to the spread of the condition in child-care settings as well as in families with small children.
Once an individual acquired the infection, he/she is not likely to become infected with that specific form again for at least several years. Nevertheless, one can become infected by the other types of shigella.
What are the signs?
The indications of shigella infection generally starts 1-2 days after exposure to the shigella bacteria and typically settles in 5-7 days. Some who are infected do not have any symptoms at all but might still pass the bacteria to others.
The usual signs that might manifest include:
- Diarrhea that is often streaked with blood
- Abdominal cramps
- Dehydration (this might develop after diarrhea)
In some cases, especially among the elderly and young children, the diarrhea can be serious that hospitalization is necessary.
A severe infection with high fever might be linked with seizures among children younger than 2 years old.
Management of shigella infection
The diarrhea brought about by shigella infection can lead to dehydration that can be managed with intravenous fluids. If many individuals in a community are affected, antibiotics are oftentimes given selectively to treat the severe cases.
- Regularly wash hands with water and soap especially after using the bathroom, after changing diapers and before preparing food.
- Soiled diapers must be properly disposed
- Diaper changing areas must be thoroughly disinfected after use.
- Avoid drinking swimming pool water.