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- Patient Comments: Shigella - Experience
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- Shingellosis facts*
- What is shigellosis? What causes shigellosis?
- What sort of germ is Shigella?
- How can Shigella infections be diagnosed?
- How can Shigella infections be treated?
- Are there long term consequences of a Shigella infection?
- How do people catch Shigella?
- What can a person do to prevent this illness?
- How common is shigellosis?
- What else can be done to prevent shigellosis?
- What is the government doing about shigellosis?
- How can I learn more about this and other public health problems?
- Some tips for preventing the spread of shigellosis
What can a person do to prevent this illness?
Currently, there is no vaccine to prevent shigellosis. However, the spread of Shigella from an infected person to other persons can be stopped by frequent and careful handwashing with soap. Frequent and careful handwashing is important among all age groups. Handwashing among children should be frequent and supervised by an adult in daycare centers and homes with children who have not been fully toilet trained.
If a child in diapers has shigellosis, everyone who changes the child's diapers should be sure the diapers are disposed of properly in a closed-lid garbage can, and should wash his or her hands and the child's hands carefully with soap and warm water immediately after changing the diapers. After use, the diaper changing area should be wiped down with a disinfectant such as diluted household bleach, Lysol* or bactericidal wipes. When possible, young children with a Shigella infection who are still in diapers should not be in contact with uninfected children.
Basic food safety precautions and disinfection of drinking water prevents shigellosis from food and water. However, people with shigellosis should not prepare food or drinks for others until they have been shown to no longer be carrying the Shigella bacterium, or if they have had no diarrhea for at least 2 days. At swimming beaches, having enough bathrooms and handwashing stations with soap near the swimming area helps keep the water from becoming contaminated. Daycare centers should not provide water play areas.
Simple precautions taken while traveling to the developing world can prevent shigellosis. Drink only treated or boiled water, and eat only cooked hot foods or fruits you peel yourself. The same precautions prevent other types of traveler's diarrhea.