Shigellosis is an infectious disease caused by Shigella. The Shigella germ is a family of bacteria that can cause diarrhea in humans. People with shigellosis shed the bacteria in their feces. The bacteria can spread from an infected person to contaminate water or food, or directly to another person. Getting just a little bit of the Shigella bacteria into your mouth is enough to cause symptoms.
The illness is most commonly seen in child-care settings and schools. Shigellosis is a cause of traveler’s diarrhea, from contaminated food and water in developing countries.
Contaminated food or water, or contact with an infected person. Foods most often associated with Shigella outbreaks are salads and sandwiches that involve a lot of hand contact in their preparation, and raw vegetables contaminated in the field.
1 -7 days (usually 1-3 days)
Sudden abdominal cramping, fever, diarrhea that may be bloody or contains mucus, nausea and vomiting
Duration of Illness
Who’s at Risk?
Children, especially toddlers aged 2-4
What Do I Do?
Drink plenty of fluids and get rest. Stay home from school or work to avoid spreading the bacteria to others. If you cannot drink enough fluids to prevent dehydration, call your doctor.
How Do I Prevent It?
Shigellosis (NIH MedlinePlus)
Trusted health information on causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
General information on diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and more.