Shigellosis – India

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The death of a six-year-old tribal girl from the Pilakkavu Kattunayikka colony in Noolpuzha panchayat due to Shigella bacterial infection was reported on April 2, 2021.

The six-year-old girl was treated at a private clinic and later died while she was being shifted to the Sulthan Bathery Taluk Hospital. The Wayanad district medical officer has suggested people to be aware of Shigella bacterial infection since eight cases have been confirmed in the Wayanad district, while two have died.

Surveillance activities, chlorination of wells and other water sources have been carried out in Pilakkavu colony. Besides, drinking only boiled water, chlorination of water sources and keeping personal hygiene measures are the main precautions to prevent Shigella bacterial infection.

Photo: Shigella flexneri micrograph, one of 4 bacteria types causing Shigellosis.

Shigellosis is an infection of the intestines caused by Shigella bacteria. Symptoms generally start one to two days after exposure and include diarrhea, fever, abdominal pain, and feeling the need to pass stools even when the bowels are empty. he diarrhea may be bloody. Symptoms typically last five to seven days and it may take several months to fully recover. There is no vaccine and Shigellosis usually resolves without specific treatment.

Globally shigellosis occurs in at least 80 million people and results in about 700,000 deaths a year. Most cases occur in the developing world. Young children are most commonly affected.

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