Dysentery is an intestinal infection that causes severe diarrhea with blood. In some cases, mucus may be found in the stool. This usually lasts for 3 to 7 days.
Symptoms of dysentery are:
- Abdominal cramps or pain
- Fever of 100.4°F (38°C) or higher
- Dehydration, which can become life threatening if left untreated.
Types of dysentery are:
- Bacterialdysentery is caused by infection with bacteria from Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, or enterohemorrhagic E. coli .
- Amebic dysentery is caused by a single-celled parasite that infects the intestines. It’s also known as amebiasis.
How to prevent dysentery
Sanitation practices, such as:
- Frequent hand washing
- Being careful when changing a sick baby’s diaper
- Not swallowing water when swimming
The best way to prevent amebic dysentery is to be careful about what you eat and drink while visiting an area where it’s common.
When travelling to these areas, you should avoid:
- Drinks with ice cubes
- Drinks that aren’t bottled and sealed
- Food and beverages sold by street vendors
Peeled fruit or vegetables, unless you peel them yourself
- Unpasteurized milk, cheese, or dairy products.
Safe sources of water include:
- Bottled water, if the seal is unbroken
- Soda in cans or bottles, if the seal is unbroken
- Tap water that has been boiled for at least one minute.