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06/14/24 Public Health Education Topic: Shigellosis

Per CDC:

Shigella bacteria cause an infection called shigellosis.

Shigella cause an estimated 450,000 infections in the United States each year, and antimicrobial resistant infections result in an estimated $93 million in direct medical costs.

The four species of Shigella are:

  • Shigella sonnei (the most common species in the United States)

  • Shigella flexneri

  • Shigella boydii

  • Shigella dysenteriae

S. dysenteriae and S. boydii are rare in the United States, though they continue to be important causes of disease in areas with less access to resources. Shigella dysenteriae type 1 can be deadly.


  • Shigella are bacteria (germs) that cause diarrhea.

  • The most common ways people get sick are from eating or drinking contaminated food or water and contact with someone who is sick or has recently been sick with Shigella infection.

  • Shigella can also be spread during sexual activity with a sick person.


Symptoms usually start 1–2 days after infection and last 7 days.

Most people with shigellosis experience:

  • Diarrhea that can be bloody or prolonged (lasting more than 3 days)

  • Fever

  • Stomach pain

  • Feeling the need to pass stool (poop) even when the bowels are empty


You can take steps to avoid getting or spreading Shigella.



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