The rising number of suspected Shigella bacterial infections caused panic in the Kozhikode district of northern Kerala. However, the state health department said there was no need to panic and experts were working to find the source of the infection.
Panic struck the Maya region following the death of an 11-year-old boy and the hospitalization of many others with similar symptoms. However, the health department said that so far only six people have been confirmed as infected and 26 other people have suspected infection. Some of the suspects were later released.
“We have started inspecting all homes in the affected areas. Initial reports suggest that water pollution caused the infection. We asked people to only drink boiled water and to maintain strict personal hygiene, ”said Health Minister KK Shailaja. She said samples of water and food were collected and sent for detailed laboratory testing.
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District Doctor V Jayashree said at least 150 people have attended the medical camp organized by the health department in the past two days. She said experts are trying to track down the root cause of the infection. Locals also said that some of their water sources were contaminated and they had no idea how it happened.
According to medical experts, Shigella bacteria solve one Infection called shigellosis. Diarrhea, which often contains blood or mucus in the stool, stomach pain, cramps, fever, and vomiting are the main symptoms of the infection. An infected person will show minor symptoms for a day or two, but acute symptoms can take about a week to appear. Children under the age of 10 are most susceptible to infection, although older people can also be infected. According to experts, adding large doses of antibiotics may be required for patients with underlying diseases.
They said that usually a person becomes infected after consuming contaminated water or stale food. It is highly contagious and can be transmitted even after using a shared toilet. Although Shigella is a worldwide phenomenon, it is more common in developing countries, especially in crowded areas. In some cases, people infected with the bacteria show no symptoms but are contagious. Experts have also asked people not to have sexual relations with someone who has recently recovered from shigellosis.