Shigella Infection Fear In Kerala: All You Need To Know
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The Shigella infection has created panic in Kerala with Kozhikode district in the spotlight even as the state is reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic. While an 11-year-old died in Kozhikode, there are at least 40 cases of infection in the district putting the health authorities on alert.

What is Shigella infection?

Shigella infection is an intestinal infection caused by Shigella bacteria. The main symptoms include diarrhoea, often with traces of blood and mucus in the stool, stomach pain and fever. The symptoms may appear within seven days after exposure. Children under five years are more susceptible to contract the infection, though elders too can catch it.

How many cases?

Health authorities are on high alert after 15 more suspected cases of Shigella infection were identified during a special medical camp held at Kottamparamba near Mayanad in Kozhikode corporation limits. As many as 119 persons attended the medical camp. This report comes after 25 cases, six of them were confirmed, were reported from Kozhikode corporation limits.

What is the source of the disease?

According to the health department, most of the suspected cases had attended the funeral of the deceased child or had taken food from the house. Authorities say contaminated water may be a source of the disease.

What is the current status?

According to district medical officer Dr V Jayasree, the Shigella infection reported in the Kozhikode corporation limits has been brought under control. The health department had intensified preventive measures as soon as the first infection was reported from the area which helped in controlling the spread of the bacterial infection.

Are there any vaccines?

As per FDA(Food and Drug Administration), there are no licensed vaccines available for protection against Shigella.

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