Shigellosis
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Shigellosis

Shigellosis is an infection caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. This group of bacteria consists of four species:

  1. Group A: Shigella dysenteriae
  2. Group B: Shigella flexneri
  3. Group C: Shigella boydii
  4. Group D: Shigella sonnei

Reservoir
Humans


Incubation period
12 hours to four days (usually one to three days); up to one week for Shigella dysenteriae.


Signs and Symptoms

  • Diarrhoea - may contain blood, mucus and pus, watery diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Patients may also be asymptomatic
  • The illness is usually self-limited, and lasts from several days to weeks with an average of four to seven days


Diagnosis
Faecal or rectal swabs.


Treatment
Usually supportive, fluid and electrolyte replacement, in cases of watery diarrhoea/dehydration. Cases of severe dysentery need antibiotic therapy based on sensitivity test results. 


Control and Prevention 

  • Since shigellosis is highly infective, patients should not be employed to handle food or to provide child or patient care until 3 successive faecal samples or rectal swabs are found to be negative.
  • Advice on the importance of hand washing with soap and water after defecation.
  • Screening of faeces of household contacts and those exposed to the same source of infection is suggested. ​ 

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