Dysentery – What It Is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment!

Dysentery – what it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment  Treatment may include antibiotics if bacterial dysentery is severe. Furthermore,  dysentery  is an infection of the intestines that causes the passage of bloody stools mixed with mucus. It is caused by bacteria such as Shigella, or by parasites such as Entamoeba. These forms are called bacillary dysentery, or shigelloses, and amoebic dysentery  respectively.

Other symptoms of dysentery  include cramps, bloating, and fever, along with 3-8 soft or stools of fluid a day. In more severe cases there may be pain on touching the abdomen, severe diarrhea evidenced by 10 or more bowel movements a day, nausea or vomiting. Fever can rise as high as 100.4 F (38oC).

Many young children, under 5 years old, cannot show such a high rise in temperature. There may also be fatigue, rectal pain during stool passing, and weight loss without any significant cause. Most cases clear up in a week or less. If dysentery symptoms  persist, medical care is needed. So, check out now  Dysentery – what it is, Causes, Symptoms and Treatment:

Cause of Dysentery:  Bacillary and amoebic dysentery is highly infectious and can be spread if feces (poo) from an infected person enters another person’s mouth.
This can happen if someone with the infection doesn’t wash their hands after going to the bathroom and then touches food, surfaces, or someone else. In the UK, the infection usually affects groups of people in close contact, such as in families, schools and nurseries.

There is also a chance of getting the infection through anal or anal-oral sex (“rimming”). In developing countries with poor sanitation, infected faeces can contaminate food or water supplies, especially cold uncooked foods.

Dysentery Symptoms: Dysentery  symptoms usually occur three days after coming in contact with Shigella bacteria, but in some situations it can take up to a week to occur. The main symptoms are:

  • Diarrhea, often accompanied by blood or mucus.
  • Abdominal cramps.
  • Fever.

How You Can Avoid Passing Dysentery:

  • Hand washing is the most important way to stop the spread of infection . You are infectious to other people while you are sick and have symptoms.
  • Take the following steps to avoid passing the disease on to others:
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after going to the bathroom. Read more about washing your hands.
  • Stay away from work or school until you are completely free of any symptoms for at least 48 hours.
  • Help young children to wash their hands properly.
  • Do not prepare food for others until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
  • Do not go swimming until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
  • Whenever possible, stay away from other people until your symptoms stop.
  • Wash all soiled clothes, bedding and towels on the hottest washing machine cycle possible.
  • Clean toilet paper seats and toilet paper bowls, and flush handles, faucets and sinks with detergent and hot water after use, followed by a household disinfectant.
  • Avoid sexual contact until you have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.

As shigella is easily transmitted to other people, you may need to send stool samples (poo) so that they are given all clear things to return to work, school, the ward or the child. The type of shigella you have and whether you or others are in an at-risk group will influence how long you need to stay away.

Risk groups are people in certain occupations – including healthcare workers and people who handle food , as well as people who need help with personal hygiene and very young children. Your environmental health officer will be able to advise you on this.

Treating Dysentery:  As dysentery  usually clears up on its own after three to seven days, treatment is usually not necessary. However, it is important to drink plenty of fluids and use oral rehydration solutions (ORS) if necessary to prevent dysentery  and  dehydration .

Over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen can help relieve pain and fever. Avoid anti-diarrheal medications, such as loperamide, because they can make things worse.
You should stay home until at least 48 hours after your last episode of diarrhea to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to others.

In cases of mild bacterial dysentery  , just staying hydrated , drinking lots of water, is enough. The use of medication to relieve dysentery is not advised  . Treatment may include antibiotics if bacterial dysentery  is severe. Serums found in pharmacies can be targeted, especially for children. In cases of severe dehydration , admission to receive intravenous saline may be recommended.

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