Keep reading to learn some common shigellosis symptoms. Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. The most common way shigellosis spreads is through food or water contaminated with fecal matter from an infected person. The disease can also spread through contact with an infected person's stool or saliva.
The causes include infected food and water, contact with an infected person's stool or saliva, not washing hands properly after using the restroom, changing diapers, or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. Poor sanitation can also contribute to the spread of shigellosis. Additionally, people who take antibiotics for a long time may be at higher risk of developing shigellosis.
Shigellosis is particularly common in areas where there is poor sanitation and overcrowding. If left untreated, complications such as dehydration and sepsis can occur. Therefore it is crucial to practice good hygiene and seek medical attention if you may have been exposed to Shigella bacteria.
Shigellosis can be diagnosed by testing a sample of stool from the patient. The bacteria in the sample will then be tested to identify what type of Shigella is present. Diagnostic tests are also available for blood or throat cultures and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs).
Shigellosis symptoms vary from person to person but generally include the following:
Other symptoms may include bloody stools or mucus in the stool. In some cases, there may be no symptoms at all.
The onset of symptoms can occur anywhere from a few hours to several days after exposure. Symptoms are usually mild and will resolve within a week without treatment; however, it is still vital to seek medical attention if you think you have shigellosis, as it can lead to more severe complications if left untreated.
The most common complication of shigellosis is dehydration, which can result from severe or prolonged diarrhea. Other complications include seizures and inflammation of the brain (encephalopathy), inflammatory bowel disease, sepsis, and toxic shock syndrome. The risk of developing these complications increases with age, immunocompromised status, and certain underlying medical conditions such as HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and liver disease. It is essential to call your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any signs or symptoms that could be related to shigellosis.
Most cases of shigellosis can be treated with antibiotics, although some patients may require hospitalization. It is essential to take the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed to prevent the recurrence or spread of the bacteria. The most commonly prescribed antibiotics for treating shigellosis are ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin, and azithromycin.
In addition to antibiotics, other treatments for shigellosis include drinking plenty of fluids and electrolytes to replace those lost through diarrhea. Eating a healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables can also help restore balance to the intestines. In some cases, medical professionals may recommend anti-diarrheal medications as well.
If you have been exposed to Shigella bacteria, it is vital to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Early treatment can help prevent more severe complications and reduce the risk of spreading to others. If you have any questions or concerns, speak with your healthcare provider.
The best type of shigellosis prevention is practicing good hygiene and sanitation, which includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or coming into contact with contaminated surfaces. It is also important to avoid sharing food, drinks, utensils, and other personal items with others.
In addition to proper hygiene practices, avoiding drinking contaminated water or eating contaminated food is essential. If traveling in areas with poor sanitation and overcrowding, it is imperative to be aware of potential sources of contamination. Lastly, it is recommended that people taking antibiotics for an extended time should talk with their healthcare provider about shigellosis prevention measures.