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News: North Kerala has been put on high alert after an 11-year-old boy died and 20 suspected cases of shigella bacterial infection were reported.
- Shigella Infection (shigellosis) is an intestinal infection caused by a family of bacteria known as shigella.
- Transmission: Contaminated food, water are the source of the infection. The bacteria spreads not only through surfaces — touching an infected surface and then touching the mouth — but also from eating food prepared by someone carrying the infection.
- Symptoms: Symptoms include diarrhoea, fever, stomach cramps which can last for seven days.
- Treatment: It is generally done through antibiotics which can shorten the duration of the illness.
- Susceptible Group: Children under age 10 are most likely to get shigella infection but it can occur at any age.
- Precautions: Doctors advise frequently washing hands with soap and running water to avoid infections such as Shigella.