Shigellosis is a bacterial infection that affects the digestive system. It’s caused by a group of bacteria called Shigella. The Shigella bacteria is spread through contaminated water and food or through contact with contaminated feces. The bacteria release toxins that irritate the intestines, causing the primary symptom of diarrhea.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 450,000 people in the United States report having shigellosis every year. The symptoms vary in intensity. You may have a mild shigellosis infection and not even realize or report it.
Shigella bacteria are usually found in the stool (feces, or poop) of people who are infected. The bacteria are spread when someone comes into contact with the stool of an infected person or comes into contact with an item that’s been contaminated with the stool or the bacteria.
People get shigellosis by eating food or drinking water that has been contaminated, or through sexual contact with an infected person. Many different foods can be contaminated, but Shigella is found typically in uncooked vegetables or shellfish.
Signs and symptoms of shigella infection usually begin a day or two after contact with shigella. But it may take up to a week to develop. Signs and symptoms may include:
Symptoms generally last for about five to seven days. In some cases, symptoms may last longer. Some people have no symptoms after they've been infected with shigella. However, their feces may still be contagious up to a few weeks.
Since there are many causes of diarrhea, a lab test may be needed to figure out whether you have shigellosis. Your doctor may ask you to give a stool sample to see whether you have shigella bacteria.
Note: Rate under the appropriate body system any residual disability of infection, which includes, but is not limited to, hemolytic-uremic syndrome or reactive arthritis.
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