One of the foulest and dangerous infections of the gut is the shigellosis. This condition actually affects millions of people all over South Asia and Africa per year. Hence, understanding things about this illness or condition is a great thing. Furthermore, it is also great to know about its symptoms, causes, possible risks and the treatments for shigellosis as well. To be able to know all these things, continue reading on to this article.
Shigellosis: What is this?
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There are some parts of the world that sanitation and hygiene are in short supply, thus making them more prone to illnesses. One of these illnesses is the shigellosis or shigella. This illness or infection is primarily because of the bacterium, Shigella. This bacterium is often found in the water, which has been contaminated with feces. Though this specific scenario may seem ludicrous to some, the contact between fecal matter and food still happens all over the world. This means that there is no one that is really safe from this particular condition.
Shigellosis or shigella can be transmitted by way of direct contact with a bacteria in the stool. For instance, it may happen in a setting where there is a child and a staff member didn’t wash his/her hands properly after changing baby’s diaper. Furthermore, the condition can also transmit in a filthy food or by swimming or drinking in a pool that is so dirty.
The transmission of the bacterium actually goes to the fecal-oral direction. This typically happens by washing the food with some contaminated water. Furthermore, it may also be because of the improper or unhygienic handling of food, especially by children. Shigellosis is one of the most common reasons why diarrhea happens, most commonly in third world countries. The infection may become deadly if the body becomes nutrient-deficient and is dehydrated.
Children ages 2 to 4 are more prone to this condition. usually, the condition may clear up within a week. When treatment is required, doctors give them a prescription for antibiotics.
What are the Symptoms of Shigellosis?
The signs and symptoms of the shigellosis or Shigella infection commonly begin about a day or two after getting contact with the bacterium. However, it may take about a week for it to develop. Its sign and symptoms may be:
- Abdominal cramps or pain
- Diarrhea that often has mucus or blood
Even though some patients show no symptoms after having been infected by the infection, their feces may continue for few weeks.
What causes Shigellosis?
The infection usually happens when you accidentally swallow the bacterium. This may occur when you:
- Swallow a contaminated or dirty water. The water may get contamination through either from a person with shigellosis or from a sewage.
- Eat contaminated food. A certain individual that is infected with the infection may transmit the bacteria to people who eat the food.
- Touch your mouth with dirty hands. Not washing the hands very well after changing the diaper of a baby with shigella infection, you, yourself may get the infection. This is the most common way of spreading the disease –direct person-person contact.
What are the Risk Factors of Shigellosis?
- Sexually active. This is particular to those men who have sex with men; they have a higher risk of having the condition. This is since they have direct and indirect oral to anal contact.
- Travelling and traveling in places with low sanitation. Those who travel into places with low sanitation are at risk of acquiring the infection.
- Participating in group activities or living in a group housing. Having a close contact with some people may spread the bacteria from one person to another.
- Being a child or toddler. The condition as stated earlier is common to children in the age of 2 to 4.
Treatments for Shigellosis
Here are some of the best prevention, remedies, or treatments for shigellosis:
Ginger. The anti-inflammatory properties of the ginger help in balancing the stomach health and make sure of the normal digestion of the system.
Banana. Banana is good for the gastrointestinal system because of its rich fiber and nutrients, which may help in strengthening the immune system.
Get enough rest. During the recovery process of the illness, getting a proper rest is beneficial. This will also bring back the proper functioning of the body.
Peppermint. The natural anti-inflammatory properties of the of the peppermint are beneficial in neutralizing the bacteria.
Keep yourself clean all the time. Keeping yourself clean all the time is a very good way in feeling clean and energized. This will also speed up the healing process of the infection.
Water. This is one of the most common treatments for shigellosis. Frequent drinking of water may help in getting rid of the infection. Furthermore, it also helps in stimulating the excretion system that may help in shortening the infection’s duration.