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Dysentery : Symptoms and Prevent

Dysentery is bloody diarrhea. Patients generally experience several times diarrhea containing blood or maybe mucus in it. This diarrhea can generally last for 3 days to 1 week.

Dysentery is a disease that commonly occurs in environments with poor sanitation, for example due to limited clean water or a place with poor waste disposal. The spread of dysentery occurs due to the lack of public awareness to maintain personal hygiene, such as not washing hands after from the toilet or bathroom.

This disease is often caused by bacteria or amoeba. Most of the cases in the world are caused by bacteria, such as Shigella, Campylobacter, Salmonella, or E. coli.

Data on the number of sufferers themselves have not been recorded with certainty, but children are referred to as those who are more susceptible to this disease. Based on the Household Health Survey, from year to year it is known that diarrhea is still the main cause of under-five mortality.

What are the Causes of Dysentery?

Based on the cause, dysentery can be divided into two types, namely:

  • Bacterial dysentery. This type of dysentery can be caused by various types of bacteria, including Campylobacter, enterohemorrhagic type E-coli (EHEC), Salmonnella, or Shigellla bacteria.

There are 4 types of Shigella bacteria that cause dysentery, namely Shigella boydii, Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri, and Shigella dysenteriae. Shigella sonnei is the most common cause of dysentery, while Shigella dysenteriae is the most severe cause of dysentery.

  • Ameba dysentery. This type of dysentery is caused by ameba (one-celled parasite) named Entamoeba histolytica.

This disease usually results from poor environmental hygiene. Healthy people can be affected if they come into contact with feces from an infected person. For example through:

  • Contaminated food and drink.
  • Less clean when washing hands.
  • Swim in bacteria contaminated water.
  • Physical contact with sufferers.

Symptoms of dysentery

Symptoms that appear in both types of dysentery are not much different, including diarrhea accompanied by blood or pus, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain. In bacterial dysentery, sufferers also experience abdominal cramps and fever. Symptoms of bacterial dysentery usually appear 1-7 days after the patient is infected, and can last for 3-7 days.

Whereas in patients with dysentery caused by ameba, patients will experience fever and chills, loss of appetite and weight loss, and rectal bleeding. Symptoms can appear 10 days after the patient is infected.

Ameba dysentery can also cause sufferers to experience pain during defecation. This condition occurs due to ameba damaging the walls of the large intestine, and causing wounds and bleeding. In some cases, ameba can enter the bloodstream and spread to other organs, especially the liver. If this condition occurs, it can cause a collection of pus in the liver, which is called a liver abscess.

Symptoms of ameba dysentery can take up to several weeks. If not treated immediately, ameba can live in the intestine for even a few years. Besides being able to cause the spread of infection, this condition can cause dysentery often to recur.

A person can see physical signs of contracting this infection. Indications or symptoms can include:

Dysentery is a disease that can threaten the lives of patients, especially if left unchecked. Therefore, immediately consult yourself or your child if you experience these symptoms.

How is the diagnosis of dysentery?

Because the symptoms are common, namely diarrhea, the doctor will review the symptoms and history of your last trip. Detailed information will help the doctor to screen for possible causes behind these symptoms.

If you suspect the patient has contracted the disease, the doctor will ask him to undergo a more detailed examination. Among them are blood tests and laboratory tests on stool samples.

Treating dysentery

Mild dysentery is enough to be overcome by adequate rest and plenty of drinking. This disease usually goes away in a week and does not need medication.

Also avoid preparing food for others and reduce interactions with children. Stay at home until the diarrhea stops and don't have sex while you are still diarrhea.

If you need medication, choose medicines such as bismuth subsalicylate which can relieve cramps and diarrhea. But drugs that slow down the intestines, such as loperamide (for example imodium), should be avoided. Likewise with the drug atropine-diphenoxylate because it can worsen the condition of the patient.

While severe cases can be treated with antibiotics. Doctors usually take additional tests to decide what antibiotics are appropriate to overcome them. Make sure you spend the antibiotics given according to the duration of consumption determined by the doctor. Termination of consumption that is not in accordance with the recommendation can cause recurrence.

If the patient's condition does not improve even after taking antibiotics for several days, come back to the doctor. It is possible for patients to need to adjust the type of treatment.

Complications of dysentery

In some cases, this disease can cause complications. Among others are:

Post-infectious arthritis

This complication can last for months or even years. Symptoms can be joint pain, eye irritation, and pain when urinating.

Blood flow infection

This is rare and mostly affects people with low immune systems, such as people with HIV and cancer.


Sometimes sufferers of children experience convulsions. But it is still unclear why this happened. This complication usually stops without treatment

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)

One type of Shigella bacteria, S. Dysenteriae, can cause HUS by making poisons that destroy red blood cells.

Prevent Dysentery

Dysentery and transmission can be prevented by maintaining cleanliness and applying good sanitation behavior. Example:

  • Wash your hands frequently with running clean water and soap. Especially after going to the toilet, before cooking, or when going to prepare food.
  • Keep your nails clean, especially for those with long nails.
  • Be careful when changing baby diapers.
  • Separating sufferers clothes when washed.
  • Soak clothes with hot water.
  • Don't share personal items or cutlery, especially towels, spoons or dishes.
  • Boil water until cooked before drinking.
  • Make sure food (for example, vegetables) is cooked until it is fully cooked before consumption.
  • Avoid snacks at street vendors, especially foods that are still raw. If you are forced to buy drinks or food, choose the packaging that is still sealed.
  • Do not consume ice cubes made from water that is not guaranteed to be clean.
  • Avoid consumption of peeled fruits or vegetables, unless you peel them yourself.


If you get dysentery, it is recommended that you stay at home and not do things that can cause the spread of the disease (such as preparing food or swimming), at least 48 hours after symptoms end.

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Is a health and wellness enthusiast. In him free time, she loves to travel and taste different types of teas.