Dysentery is an intestinal inflammation, primarily of the colon. It can lead to mild or severe stomach cramps and severe diarrhea with mucus or blood in the feces. Without adequate hydration, it can be fatal. Infection with the Shigella bacillus, or bacterium, is the most common cause.
The symptoms of dysentery range from mild to severe, largely depending on the quality of sanitation in the areas where infection has spread. In developed countries, signs and symptoms of dysentery tend to be milder than in developing nations or tropical areas.
Mild symptoms include:
A slight stomach-ache
Safe water supply
Safe excreta disposal
Laboratory results will reveal whether the infection is due to Shigella or Entamoeba histolyca infection. However, any patient with diarrhea or vomiting should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. If they are unable to drink, or if diarrhea and vomiting are profuse, intravenous (IV) fluid replacement may be necessary. The patient will be placed on a drip and monitored.
Treatment for mild bacillary dysentery
Mild bacillary dysentery, the kind commonly found in developed countries with good sanitation, will normally resolve without treatment.
However, the patient should drink plenty of fluids. In more severe cases, antibiotic drugs are available.
Treatment for amoebic dysentery
Amoebicidal medications are used to treat Entamoeba histolyca. These will ensure that the amoeba does not survive inside the body after symptoms have resolved.