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Shigella bacteria

Date: 07 May 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous


Shigella bacterium is the most probable reason for causing the death of a girl in Kerala, according to the state’s health department.



The food poisoning incident took place in Kasargod and also caused health issues in 30 other people.



Tests confirmed the presence of Shigella bacteria in blood and faeces sample of affected people. They had consumed shawarma from an eatery.



  • Shigella is bacteria that reside in the intestine. It is part of enterobacter family and does not cause illness in all cases.

  • Infection of Shigella affects the intestine and results in diarrhoea, sometimes bloody, stomach pain, and fever.



  • Contamination through the bacteria occurs when someone consumes contaminated food such as unwashed fruit or vegetables.

  • It can spread easily by direct or indirect contact with the excrement of the patient. Coming in contact with contaminated water also can spread the disease.


Vulnerable groups

The most vulnerable sections to infection include pregnant women, children under five years of age, and in those with weakened immune systems.


Mortality due to infection

  • The infection can get serious but usually does not result in death. If the person has weak immune system and pathogen is resistant to the antibiotics, then it can turn detrimental.

  • Shigella produces toxins that can affect the kidney, cause seizures, lead to multi-organ failure, and shock, and even turn fatal.



  • Hands should be properly washed before and after a meal. Washing hands properly after visiting washrooms.

  • Food such as meat should be properly stored and cooked so as to kill any bacteria that may have proliferated into the food.

  • A person should visit a doctor if they have more than 10 bowel movements a day. Proper treatment can prevent mortality.

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