What is the News?
The Kerala health department has identified Shigella bacteria as the cause for the food poisoning incident in Kasaragod, which claimed the life of a girl and led to 30-odd others being admitted to the hospital.
What is Shigella?
Shigella is a bacterium that belongs to the enterobacter family — a group of bacteria that reside in the intestine, not all of which cause disease in humans.
Symptoms: It mainly affects the intestine and results in diarrhoea, sometimes bloody, stomach pain and fever.
Transmission: Shigella is generally transmitted through contaminated food or water, or through person-to-person contact.
– Shigellosis is primarily a disease of poor and crowded communities that do not have adequate sanitation or safe water.
Incubation Period: The incubation period of shigellosis is typically 1–4 days.
Types of Shigella: There are four types of Shigella bacteria that affect humans — Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri, Shigella boydii, and Shigella dysenteriae. The fourth type causes the most severe disease because of the toxin it produces.
Treatment: The cornerstone of shigella treatment is the maintenance of hydration and electrolyte balance.
– Antibiotics are also recommended for reducing illness duration and for preventing transmission.
– However, currently, there are no vaccines available for shigellosis.
Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: What is Shigella, the bacteria that killed a girl after she ate shawarma in Kerala?” published in Indian Express on 6th May 2022.