Shigella bacteria amidst Corona panic in Kerala: What is this new infection deadly in children?

Kozhikode district authorities have already recorded six cases and marked 20 as suspected of having Shigella infection, as they add that it is dangerous in young children
Shigella bacteria amidst Corona panic in Kerala: What is this new infection deadly in children?

Kerala Health Minister KK Shailaja, in her press conference, warned about a possible increase in Covid-19 cases, and on how everyone must be cautious. At the same time, Kozhikode health authorities have warned citizens about a possible spread of Shigella infection. They have announced that at least six people have been infected and almost 20 people are suspected to have Shigella. Another suspected case, an 11-year-old child from the district, had died last week.

Currently, the infection is limited within the Corporation limits and seems to be under control. The district health authorities are planning a health camp for further testing as well as creating awareness. Except for four adults, the rest of the suspected cases are children. A team has visited the location where the bacterial seemingly spread and has super chlorinated a few water sources in the area, and has conducted awareness sessions to the people.

What is Shigella?

Shigella is actually the name of the bacteria that causes Shigellosis. It is an intestinal infection, and thus bloody diarrhoea is a symptom. It is very contagious and can pass through infected food or unsafe water, and it is mainly seen in children who often wander into unsanitary conditions. Other symptoms of the disease include fever, stomach pain, nausea, and tiredness.

The condition is extremely dangerous among small and young children and as such, doctors recommend immediate action if any of the symptoms begin to appear. While treatment is simple for the infections, the condition can be dangerous for children mainly due to the internal damage. However, doctors recommend rest, increased fluid intake, drinking boiled water, and making sure to clean hands using soap before eating.

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