Better Health Channel
  • Shigellosis is a bowel infection caused by Shigella bacteria.
  • Common symptoms include diarrhoea that may contain blood, mucus or pus, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.
  • Shigella bacteria are excreted in faeces (poo), so an infected person who doesn’t wash their hands properly after going to the toilet can spread the bacteria to other people, objects, surfaces and food.
  • Shigella can also be spread during sexual activity, especially oral sex and oro-anal sex.
  • Food handlers, childcare workers and healthcare workers should not return to work until advised by the Department of Health.
  • Children must stay away from school until 24 hours after symptoms have stopped.
  • Treatment includes antibiotics, plenty of fluids and oral rehydration drinks.

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Reviewed on: 11-10-2022