Shigella infection, also known as Shigellosis is a condition which affects the digestive system and is caused due to Shigella bacteria. The toxic release by bacteria leads to intestinal irritation and it spreads through contaminated food, water or faeces.
Diarrhoea is one of the most common symptoms of Shigella infection. Children between the age group of 2-4 years are more likely to get affected than older children and adults. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are at high risk as many tend to put their hands and fingers in the mouth and chances of ingesting bacteria are very high in this age group.
Also, day-care centres can increase Shigella infections among kids if the staff is not washing hands properly after the diaper change or helping kids with potty training.
The signs of occurrence of infection can be seen within 1-2 days; sometimes it can also take a week. Besides diarrhoea, other sign includes cramps, pain in the abdomen, and fever.
It can also spread from one person to another in swimming pools, nursing homes, etc.
Travelling or living in low hygienic conditions can also increase the rate of Shigellosis.
Sexually active homosexual males are also at higher risk of developing Shigellosis.
Ideally, the infection goes away without complications, yet, it can take weeks or months to return to normal bowel routine. It may also cause serious complications like dehydration, seizures and rectal prolapse if not treated properly.
The best way to avoid Shigella infection is to maintain proper hygienic conditions.