Shigella bacteria is the cause for shigellosis or shigella gastroenteritis. Shigella is regularly spread via contact with contaminated stool, food or water.
Once infected with shigella, it usually takes an average of 3 days for symptoms to appear. But shigellosis can take as long as a week or as short as a day after exposure to get its gastroenteritis problem started.
Shigella remains in your intestinal system for a couple of weeks after symptoms subside. Thus, you’re contagious despite the fact you feel better.
What sets shigellossis apart from other forms of intestinal infections is it causes severe, and ofttimes bloody, diarrhea symptoms. The cause for your bloody stool is shigella produced toxins attack your large intestine lining, causing bleeding ulcers.
Other shigella gastroenteritis symptoms you can suffer with include:
- high fever
- watery diarrhea
- loss of appetite
- nausea & vomiting
- mucus, pus in stools
- painful bowel movements
- abdominal pain, cramping
With extremely severe bouts of shigellosis, you may experience:
The natural course of shigellosis takes a couple of days to a week. Routinely, a shigella infection is mild and goes away on its own, without antibiotics.
During the passage of your infection, the primal treatment is preventing dehydration and electrolyte deprivation. Drinking electrolyte solution is recommended to replace what you’ve lost by means of diarrhea.
If you are enduring shigellosis caused severe and bloody diarrhea, then contact your health care professional ASAP. The same goes for those who:
- take diuretics
- are malnourished
- have Reiter’s syndrome
- are severely dehydrated
- have neurologic symptoms
- have weakened immune system
- unable to take in fluids due to nausea
Antibiotics may be prescribed to shorten the life of your infectious disease, treat severe cases and reduce spreading.
And taking OTC diarrheal meds is not always a health promoting measure. In fact, they can actually cause your shigellosis to get worse because ebbing diarrhea allows shigella to dwell in your intestinal tract longer.
Health wise, diarrhea is your body’s natural process for expelling that which causes it harm!