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Bacillary Dysentery Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Bacillary dysentery is also called Shigellosis and it is an acute infection, which infects the mucosal surface of the large intestine. The infection is caused by the bacteria Shigella genus and the incubation period of the bacteria is one to seven days. The disease is contagious and it can occur in epidemics (mostly in summer).

Causes of Bacillary Dysentery

It is common in young children and it spreads fast in crowded places having unhygienic sanitary conditions. The disease spread on coming in direct contact with the infected person, contaminated hands, drinking water and food. There are other bacteria, which can cause the problem such as Campylobacter and Salmonella. Water supply cannot spread the bacteria because Shigella bacteria cannot survive for long in water.

The bacterium goes from the intestine to the colon and causes inflammation in the mucus lining of the intestine in the initial forty eight hours of infection. The infection may itself settle in a few days and the patient may relax after a week but if the bacteria come back, the patient may become the carrier of the bacteria. Such people may not have any symptom of the bacterial infection.


1. Dysentery
2. The patient may have an acute desire to empty the stomach
3. Cramps
4. Weakness, vomiting, drowsiness
5. Fever
6. Diarrhoea
7. Stool may have pus, mucus and blood

In acute condition, the symptoms are

1. Dry tongue
2. Dry skin
3. Weight loss
4. Muscle spasm
5. Dehydration
6. Organ damage
7. Ulcer in stomach
8. Delirium, convulsion


The disease spreads through contaminated food, semi cooked meat and dairy products. The people suffering from the problem should clean their hands after going to toilet and should always wash hands with soap before handling food. The clothes of the infected person should be cleaned in boiled water and isolated from clothes of other people. The patient should be kept isolated from other people and be given low residue diet. Heating pads can be used to reduce pain and fluids can be given to prevent dryness.


The stool is tested to find out about the presence of blood and mucus in stool. The patient's symptoms may include chills and fever. Although the problem resolves itself in three to five days, if the problem persists for long it may take three to six weeks.


1. The patient suffering from Bacillary Dysentery may suffer from extreme dehydration and fluid loss and he or she should be given enough amounts of fluids to prevent the loss. Antibiotics can be given to young patients, who suffer from acute infection and it can be given to patient who can spread the infection.

2. The patient should take complete bed rest, until the symptoms such as fever and diarrhoea are gone. Easy to digest food should be given.

If the bacteria enter the blood stream of the patient, it may cause infection to the kidney, liver, heart and gallbladder. The problem may be fatal in certain cases. Ulcers can cause blood loss and rectal prolapse in patients.

 Read Related Articles
Mouth, Esophagus Disorders, Diseases of Mouth and Esophagus
Mouth Ulcers Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Esophagitis Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
Achalasia Cardia, Esophageal Motility Disorder, Esophageal Dysmotility
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