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1. What is dysentery?
Dysentery is an intestinal infection caused by either the Shigella species (bacillary dysentery) or Entamoeba histolytica (amoebic dysentery) resulting in loose stools (diarrhoea) contaminated with blood or mucus.
2. What causes dysentery?
Dysentry is highly infectious and can be caused by Shigella species (bacillary dysentery) or Entamoeba histolytica (amoebic dysentery). The route/source of infection is as follows:
•Contact with contaminated faeces of infected individuals, food, water supply, or surfaces
•Contact with the contaminated person
•Anal or anal-oral sex
•Cold uncooked food
3. What are the tests for the diagnosis of dysentery?
Dysentery can be diagnosed by carrying out the following steps:
•Consulting the physician who will check for related symptoms
•Advise specific blood tests
•Test a stool sample
•Test for helping in the selection of an antibiotic
4. How is dysentery treated?
Amoebic dysentery is treated as follows:
•Medications against parasites such as metronidazole (Flagyl) or tinidazole (Tindamax)
•Severe cases require intravenous (IV) fluid replacement for dehydration prevention
5. Can dysentery spread from person to person?
Yes, dysentery being highly infectious can spread from person to person by contact through contaminated faeces, food, water supply, and even infected persons.