Dysentery is defined as an infection of the intestines which causes diarrhea streaked with blood or mucus.
The other symptoms that might be present include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Painful stomach cramping
- Fever of 38 degrees C or higher
Remember that the condition is highly infectious and can easily spread if the right precautions are not observed such as regular hand washing.
What are the types?
- Bacillary – this type is caused by the shigella bacteria and the most common
- Amoebic – brought about by the Entamoeba histolytica which is mainly present in tropical regions
Management of dysentery
Since dysentery generally settles on its own after 3-7 days, treatment is not usually required. Nevertheless, it is vital to drink more fluids and provide oral rehydration solutions (ORS) if needed to avoid dehydration.
Over-the-counter pain medications can help lessen the pain and fever. The individual should stay home at least 48 hours after the last episode of diarrhea to lower the risk of spreading the infection to others.
When to consult a doctor
It is not always necessary to consult a doctor if dysentery is present since it settles within a week or so. Nevertheless, a doctor should be seen if the symptoms are serious or do not seem to improve after a few days.
In case the symptoms are serious or persistent, the doctor might prescribe a brief course of antibiotics. If the dysentery is severe, the individual might require treatment in a healthcare facility for a few days.