What is dysentery?

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Dysentery is severe diarrhea that often includes blood, pus or mucus in the feces. A major cause of dysentery is exposure to the bacteria Shigella, resulting in an infection. The first symptom is most commonly a fever followed by intestinal cramps and then diarrhea. Testing a stool sample can confirm the presence of bacteria in the system. Because bowel movements are watery and frequent, dehydration can easily occur unless fluids are replaced. Dysentery is most dangerous in young children and the elderly and, left untreated, can result in seizures, stroke, kidney failure and even death.

Continue Learning about Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral Infections

Viral infections like herpes simplex, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), chicken pox and rotavirus are infections caused by a virus instead of a bacterium. Viral infections do not respond to antibiotics, but some specific viruses ...

like influenza A and B can be treated with certain antiviral medications. Most commonly, treatment for viral infections includes drinking lots of fluids, getting rest, eating well and letting the illness run its course.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.