What are signs of shigellosis? | MomsCharlotte.com

About

Rhonda Patt is a pediatrician at Charlotte Pediatric Clinic and the mother of 3 adorable children. Follow her on Twitter @mommy_doc.

What are signs of shigellosis?

11/11/13 22:33

Q. I recently heard about a Shigella outbreak. What is Shigella and what should we do to protect ourselves from catching it?

A. Shigella are a group of bacteria that can cause shigellosis, which is characterized by fever, stomach cramping and diarrhea. Symptoms typically appear within two days of exposure. Many cases are mild and resolve within a few days. In some instances, however, Shigella may cause high fever, severe cramping and bloody diarrhea – distinguishing it from more common viral intestinal infections.

The diagnosis of shigellosis is made by culturing a stool specimen. Once diagnosed, shigellosis is typically treated with antibiotics.

Shigella are most commonly spread person to person via fecal contamination. In other words, the bacteria in diarrhea stools can find their way (via contaminated hands) to the mouths of others. For this reason, hand washing is the most important way to prevent the disease from spreading.

Rhonda Patt is a pediatrician with Charlotte Pediatric Clinic. Email living@charlotteobserver.com; put “pediatrician” in the subject line.

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more