IT IS the highly infectious vomiting bug that has been passed around schools and workplaces in the UK, making people sick.
Shigellosis causes chronic diarrhoea and sickness, making people who catch it are forced to take their sick days. Here’s what you need to know…
What is vomiting bug shigellosis?
Anyone can catch shigellosis, making it all the more dangerous.
The vomiting bug is an infection caused by four species of shigella bacteria.
There are around 1,800 cases of shigella, also known as bacillary dysentery, in the UK every year.
How does vomiting bug shigellosis spread?
The infection is spread by faecal to oral infection, from person to person and from hand to mouth.
It is often contracted when victims fail to wash their hands properly after using the toilet, and spreads quickly from this point.
Shigellosis can also be passed on during anal sex.
What are the symptoms of vomiting bug shigellosis?
Symptoms include diarrhoea containing blood or mucus, nausea and vomiting.
Sufferers also report stomach cramps and pains, and high temperatures.
These symptoms usually start around two to five days after infection.
How can you stop vomiting bug shigellosis from spreading?
Excellent hand hygiene is vital to stop the bacteria from spreading.
Be sure to wash your hands, and instruct kids to wash theirs as frequently as they can with soap and water.
In addition to this, don’t share towels or flannels, or prepare or serve food for others.
Make a habit of regularly cleaning toilets with disinfectant by wiping the flush handle, toilet seat, bathroom taps and surfaces.
Is there an outbreak of vomiting bug shigellosis?
The highly infectious vomiting and diarrhoea bug is reportedly sweeping across the country leaving families bed-ridden.
This nasty illness called Shigellosis or Shigella, which normally affects young people, is said to be being passed around schools and workplaces.
Poor hygiene, such as not washing your hands after the toilet, is a common cause of it being passed on, according to the NHS.
What do you do if you think you’ve contracted it?
While unpleasant, shigella is rarely a serious infection.
Those affected should drink fluids to prevent dehydration, and visit a doctor to see if antibiotics are required.
In cases where sufferers have blood in their diarrhoea this is generally the case, but paracetamol and ibuprofen work to ease headaches and high temperatures in less severe cases.
GPs should be notified if a child starts developing shigellosis symptoms.
Children who have contracted the shigellosis are being told to stay at home for at least five days until tests show they are clear.
Adults should stay away from work, school or college for at least 48 hours until the last vomiting or diarrhoea episode, avoiding contact with others as much as possible during this time.