In US Drug-resistant dysentery on the rise

The appearance of the drug-resistant form of dysentery known as Shigellosis has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that doctors stop providing antibiotics to treat mild forms of the illness.

  • Published:
play (Gizmodo)
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Reports have emerged that a drug-resistant form of dysentery has appeared on the scene in  the United States.

The appearance of the drug-resistant form of dysentery known as Shigellosis has prompted the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to recommend that doctors stop providing antibiotics to treat mild forms of the illness.

In a report released by the CDC, 243 people across 32 US states and Puerto Rico have presented with a drug-resistant form of Shigellosis, sometimes known as bacillary dysentery.

The illness is reportedly caused by the bacteria Shigella and can bring about symptoms ranging from mild abdominal discomfort to fever and diarrhea with blood, pus, or mucus in the stool. It usually takes a week to recover from, but can be incredibly painful.

According to Gizmodo, Shigellosis is increasingly brought into the country by international travelers, many of whom take the antibitotic ciprofloxacin to stem its effect.

The CDC doesn’t know exactly why this new strain of drug-resistant Shigella has appeared, but it could be due to sufferers not finishing a full course of antibiotics thereby exposing the bacteria to low doses which encourage resistance without killing them.

The group however fears that the scourge could spread especially “if introduced to populations of homeless persons, MSM, or children in child care settings"

The body went on to cite the example of the homeless population in San Francisco where a large, protracted outbreak has occured. Other affected areas which have been identified include Massachusetts, California, and Pennsylvania.

Recommended tips by the CDC for curbing the spread of the illness include having international travelers consume hot foods and fluids directly from sealed containers. Doctors have also been advised to prescribe ciprofloxacin less often when treating mild cases of Shigellosis while people are also encouraged to wash their hands thoroughly with hot soap and water.

 

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