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Shigella Blog Surveillance & Analysis on Shigella News & Outbreaks

Preventing the spread of shigellosis

After a person has recovered from shigellosis, Shigella bacteria remain active for a week or two. It is even possible for a person to be infected with Shigella without exhibiting symptoms.  Individuals who exhibit no symptoms are known as asymptomatic, but can pass the illness on to others. 

Small children acquire Shigella at the highest rate.

Prevent the spread of Shigella from an infected person to others with frequent and careful handwashing with soap.

If a child in diapers has shigellosis, everyone who changes the child’s diapers should be sure the diapers are disposed of properly in a closed-lid garbage can, and should wash his or her hands and the child’s hands carefully with soap and warm water immediately after changing the diapers. After use, the diaper changing area should be wiped down with a disinfectant such as diluted household bleach or bactericidal wipes.  When possible, young children with a Shigella infection who are still in diapers should not be in contact with uninfected children.

Basic food safety precautions and disinfection of drinking water prevents outbreaks of shigellosis from food and water. However, people with shigellosis should not prepare food or drinks for others until they have been shown to no longer be carrying Shigella bacteria, or if they have had no diarrhea for at least 2 days. 

At swimming beaches, having enough bathrooms and handwashing stations with soap near the swimming area helps keep the water from becoming contaminated.  Daycare centers should not provide water play areas.

When traveling in developing countries, only treated or boiled water, and eat only cooked hot foods or fruits you peel yourself.