Shigellosis is an intestinal infection caused by the Shigella bacteria. This highly contagious infection primarily affects the gastrointestinal tract and can lead to symptoms such as bloody diarrhea, stomach pain, and fever . In this blog post, we’ll delve into the details of shigellosis and provide practical guidance on preventing its spread.
Causes of Shigellosis
Shigellosis occurs when harmful Shigella bacteria enter the body. Here are some common ways in which these bacteria can be transmitted:
- Direct Person-to-Person Contact: Shigella spreads easily from one person to another. For instance, inadequate hand hygiene after changing a diaper of an infected child can lead to transmission .
- Contaminated Food or Water: Consuming contaminated food or water is another route of infection. Food handlers who carry Shigella can transfer it to the food they prepare, leading to outbreaks .
- Swimming in Unsafe Water: Shigella bacteria can survive in water contaminated with sewage or fecal matter. Swimming in such water can introduce the bacteria into your system .
Symptoms of Shigellosis
Recognizing the symptoms of shigellosis is essential for early diagnosis and prompt treatment. Here are some common signs:
- Diarrhea: The hallmark symptom of shigellosis is diarrhea, often containing blood or mucus.
- Stomach pain or cramps: Abdominal discomfort accompanies diarrhea.
- Fever: Elevated body temperature is common during infection.
- Nausea or vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea and vomiting.
Symptoms generally last for about five to seven days, but in some cases, they may persist longer . It’s crucial to seek medical attention if you notice bloody diarrhea or severe diarrhea leading to weight loss and dehydration.
As healthcare professionals, you play a vital role in preventing the spread of shigellosis. Here are actionable steps:
- Practice rigorous hand hygiene: Regularly wash your hands with soap and water, especially after using the restroom, changing diapers, or handling food.
- Safe food handling: Ensure proper food preparation and hygiene when handling food. Cook meat thoroughly and avoid cross-contamination.
- Avoid unsafe water sources: Be cautious while swimming in natural water bodies or consuming water from questionable sources.
- Educate employees: Educate your colleagues and staff members about shigellosis prevention measures.
- Prompt treatment: If you suspect shigellosis, seek medical attention promptly. Antibiotics are effective in treating most cases.
Remember that even asymptomatic carriers can shed Shigella bacteria in their feces for weeks after infection . Vigilance and preventive measures are essential to curb its spread.
By understanding the causes and taking proactive steps to prevent shigellosis, we can protect ourselves and our communities from this contagious bacterial infection. As a healthcare manufacturer, our team at Artron always prioritizes hygiene practices and promotes awareness among our employees in order to keep everyone safe.
Disclaimer: This blog aims to provide general information about shigellosis prevention for educational purposes. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
 Shigella infection – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic. (2020, November 12). Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/shigella/symptoms-causes/syc-20377529