Shigellosis is a condition that can affect children who have contamination with bacteria. Read this article to know more.
Shigellosis is a condition that is caused by a bacteria belonging to a family of Shigella. It is a contagious infection. If an individual gets infected with the Shigella bacteria, their stool also gets infected. This is particularly seen in people who do not wash their hands properly after using the washroom or changing the diapers for the babies. The most common route of transmission is through food and water that is contaminated with bacteria. When the bacteria enters the body, it will release toxins that have the ability to irritate the intestine of human beings. The symptoms of Shigellosis might vary from one person to another. Young children are most commonly affected than adults. This is due to the fact that the kids do not know to practice good hygiene measures. They tend to put their hand and fingers in their mouth after playing. Medical reports suggest that approximately five lakh people in the United States of America are affected by Shigellosis every year. The mortality rate of Shigellosis is higher in children who are younger than five years of age. Shigellosis is more common in people who belong to countries such as South Asia and Africa. Vaccines for Shigellosis have not been developed yet, and so the developing countries are having a hard time.
The symptoms might take about one or two days to show up after the exposure to the bacteria. In some patients, it might also take more than one week to show symptoms. The most commonly known symptoms of Shigellosis are:
Nausea and vomiting.
The stools of the patients might contain mucus or blood.
If diarrhea occurs in patients with Shigellosis, it can last up to seven days. In the case of mild infection, the symptoms might be present for only a few days and do not require any treatment protocol. In complicated conditions, the patients tend to have dehydration issues, and in such cases, it is necessary to consult your doctor immediately.
The accidental exposure of Shigella can happen due to the following reasons.
Drinking Contaminated Water. This can happen when a person who is swimming in a public pool tends to accidentally drink the water which is contaminated.
Eating Food That Is Contaminated. It is possible for an infected person to spread the infection by sharing food with others.
Poor Hygiene. Improper practice of hand wash techniques can make many microorganisms stay in our hands. These microorganisms can enter through our mouths and can cause severe infections.
The risk factors associated with Shigellosis are:
Travelers. People who travel a lot lack proper sanitization and are highly prone to Shigellosis.
Social Gathering or Group Activities. This is the time when a person is exposed to many people, and so there are possibilities for others to spread the infection.
Homosexual Men. Men who tend to have sexual contact with other men have a higher risk for Shigellosis because of their activity that involves oral and anal contact either in a direct or indirect manner.
The complication of Shigellosis includes the following:
Hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The diagnosis for Shigellosis might require a sample of the stool from the infected person. This will indicate the occurrence of toxins in the body. Also, the Shigella bacteria can be identified if it is present.
What Are the Treatment Options for Shigellosis?
Treatment for Shigellosis aims to replace fluids that are lost in diarrhea. Lifestyle changes should also be made.
Medications: It is necessary to take over the counter drugs for treatment for diarrhea. This can prevent the condition from worsening. Over the counter medications should include a drug that contains bismuth subsalicylate. This will help in reducing the frequency of stools. These drugs are not recommended for pregnant women and young children. The patient can also choose to have antimotility drugs like Loperamide. Antibiotics can help a person to recover faster. They are useful for both infants and older adults. HIV patients are highly benefited by consuming antibiotics.
Replacement of Fluids and Salts. Only individuals who have severe dehydration require hospitalization. In patients who have mild symptoms, drinking water in higher quantities can help. Children can be given rehydration solutions for hydration of the body. Essential nutrients can also be supplied to the individual. Fruit juices can also serve as a supplement for the hydration process. But care should be taken to see that the fruit does not irritate the intestine again.
By following a few tips, it is possible to prevent infections with Shigellosis.
Take proper care of children and monitor whether they wash their hands properly. Since they belong to a high-risk category, they should avoid playing in dirty areas.
It is necessary to wash your hands with soap and water for a duration of 20 seconds. It should be practiced on a regular basis.
Make sure you throw the diapers that are soiled properly. It is necessary to disinfect the area where the diapers are changed.
Do not cook food for others if you are suffering from diarrhea.
If your child is suffering from symptoms of diarrhea, then it is essential to keep them isolated at home rather than making them mingle with other students in the school.
Avoid using water in public swimming pools and also do not drink water from the swimming pool.
Do not have sexual intercourse with a person who is suffering from diarrhea.
Always drink water that is boiled.
Wash your hands thoroughly before and after eating food. It is necessary to wash them using restrooms.
Avoid sitting in public places often.
Avoid eating outside foods and the ones that could irritate your digestive system.
Contact doctors on icliniq.com for more help.
Last reviewed at:
24 Dec 2020 - 4 min read
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