Dysentery: Causes, Treatment and Prevention

Dysentery is a gastrointestinal disorder. It causes bacterial or parasitic infections. Symptoms of Dysentery include nausea, fever, diarrhoea, vomiting, weight loss, and stomach cramps. Dysentery treatment includes antibiotics; continue to read to get a complete understanding of dysentery symptoms and treatment.

Dysentery – An infectious illness

Dysentery is an intestines infection characterized by inflammation, severe diarrhoea, and pain, with frequent blood and mucus in the stools. The condition is more common among children under five years old in developing nations. Common dysentery symptoms include bloody diarrhoea, nausea, abdominal bloating, flatulence, Abdomen pain, and vomiting.

Dysentery Causes

Swallowing of bacteria can cause an infection. Germs spread from one individual to another mainly when someone has diarrhoea, including loose and runny bowel movements. It is mainly spread through poor hygiene practices such as not washing hands after using toilets or changing nappies or sanitary pads. Also, Dysentery is caused by eating foods that have come in contact with water contaminated with human sewage, especially in countries with poor sanitation systems.

Staying away from an infected person and washing hands may prevent the spread of germs. Also, avoid sharing towels after a bath or washing hands. Dysentery is infectious and can easily spread, particularly among children and young adults. Small children who wear nappies are more likely to transmit germs to others.

"Image depicting a man illustrating the causes of dysentery

Complications associated with Dysentery

Dehydration- Individual having diarrheas’ and frequent vomiting develops dehydration. It is more likely to occur in infants and young children. The condition is dangerous for infants, young children, and older people. Liver abscess- It is a puss-filled mass inside the liver. The condition occurs when amoeba spreads to the liver.

Treatment of Dysentery

The first and foremost thing in managing any episode of Dysentery is to maintain fluid intake in the body by using oral rehydration treatment. Maintaining fluid intake is very important to avoid a life-threatening condition called dehydration. Some conditions require dysentery treatments. This will be identified from faecal samples. People with a healthy immune system recover within 30 days. It is essential to drink lots of fluids as frequent diarrhoea in vomiting can give rise to dehydration. This way, you can lose essential minerals and glucose from your body. Your healthcare specialist may suggest a rehydration solution in more persistent cases.

Rehydration therapy – During oral rehydration therapy, your health care specialist may encourage you to drink plenty of fluids to replace the lost fluid because of diarrhoea and vomiting. If diarrhoea and vomiting are profuse, hospitalization may be required for intravenous fluid replacement.

Antibiotic and amoebicidal drugs

If you suffer from Dysentery (Shigella), You will receive no dysentery medicine as the illness will resolve within seven days. However, in such cases, oral rehydration is very important.

In case of amoebic Dysentery, a ten-day course of an antimicrobial medication such as diloxanide, metronidazole, iodoquinol, or paromomycin may be given to make sure the amoeba does not survive in the body after all the bacterial infection symptoms disappear. Metronidazole is a common dysentery treatment medicine. It works by killing the parasites.

Antirheumatic medication such as Ridaura is a low-dose treatment for treating amoebic infections that cause Dysentery.

Prevention of Dysentery

Dysentery prevention is practicing good hygiene. Simple ways to prevent Dysentery include:

    1. Wash your hands carefully after coming in contact with potentially infected surfaces of people.
    2. Do not forget to wash your hands after handling food, using toilets, and before you touch any surfaces.
    3. Always use separate towels to prevent infection.
    4. Try to eat hot for two hours in preparation.
    5. Cook all your vegetables properly, cook them to 40celsius to 600. Avoid keeping raw food items and cooked food together in the same place to avoid contamination.
    6. Disinfect toilets after use if your family member has Dysentery.
    7. Wash all the clothes that come in contact with yours. Prefer washing your clothes in warm water.

Image of a man suffering from dysentery, a gastrointestinal illness characterized by severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and discomfort.


Dysentery is an infectious disease of the bowels, commonly caused by a bacterium called Shigella. It is a highly infectious illness that causes severe diarrhoea with blood. The Dysentery bacteria found in the human intestines can be transferred from one person to another. Other symptoms of Dysentery include nausea, abdominal cramps or pains, vomiting, fever of 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and dehydration which can be life-threatening. Treatment usually involves consuming plenty of fluids and using Dysentery medication to help relieve cramps and diarrhoea.

Also Read: 6 Essential Medical Tests for Preventive Care Every Adult Should Schedule After 30

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