What is dysentery? types, causes, and prevention

Symptoms of dysentery

Dysentery is also known as bloody diarrhea. In some cases, it contains mucus whereby is brought about by parasites, germs, and gut irritation from chemicals. Dysentery patients only experience light signs that vanish after a few days. However, if one has contracted dysentery they should contact the authorities so as to prevent an outbreak.

The final result of a dysentery infection can be death due to dehydration. This infection is highly infectious and can be spread through sharing utensils or even the bathroom. One of the prevention methods that should be put into consideration is washing hands after visiting the toilet.


Bacillary dysentery – It is also known as shigellosis. Shigella is the bacteria that causes it. Its signs occur on the third day or after a day after a person is infected.

Amebic dysentery- It is also known as amebiasis. It is caused by a parasite known as Entamoeba. In most cases, it is caused by contaminated food.

Causes of dysentery.

Bacillary dysentery is caused by the bacteria Shigella. However, a person can contract through the following ways;

  • Lack of thorough hand washing after a visit to the washroom.
  • Touching the mouth, nose, or eyes after close contact with contaminated surfaces.
  • Taking contaminated food.
  • Sexual intercourse with an infected person.

Amebic dysentery is caused by the parasite Entamoeba. However, in most cases, it occurs after intake of food or water that is contaminated with feces that has Entamoeba eggs. Those at risk of contracting amebic dysentery include;

  • Pregnant women.
  • Malnourished people.
  • People infected with cancer.
  • Newly born babies.

Additionally, strict hygiene practices should be adhered to prevent the spread of dysentery.

Signs and symptoms of dysentery.

Dysentery symptoms

There are various signs and symptoms that a person can identify regarding dysentery infection. They include

  • Pain in the stomach.
  • Lack of appetite.
  • Diarrhea.
  • High body fever.
  • Frequent weight loss.
  • Constant headache.

However, there are some dangerous symptoms experienced when one has not visited a doctor. They include frequent gas, high fever, and abdominal pains. The duration of signs may last from the fourth day to the eighth day. In bad cases, the disease may take six to eight weeks making it difficult for the patient. Healing takes about three days while recovering takes a week.


Drinking plenty of liquids is a way of treating dysentery. This is due to the loss of water through diarrhea. Additionally, antibiotics are also given to dysentery patients. In some cases, they are not effective, especially where the bacteria get used therefore leading to resistance. In case of persistence of symptoms, one should see a doctor and get a blood test taken immediately.

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