Notes on the Symptoms, prevention and treatment of Dysentery

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Dysentery is generally caused by two types of germs: (a) Bacillary dysentery caused by ‘bacteria’ and (b) Amoebic dysentery caused by ‘amoeba’. It is characterised by acute inflammation of the colon with frequent diarrhea with mucous and blood in the stool. The people of all ages suffer from bacillary dysentery, while the amoebic dysentery is rare in children. The incubation period is one to two days.

Symptoms Bacillary dysentery

  • The person suffering from bacillary dysentery passes many watery stools in 24 hours.
  • The bleeding is more than the mucous.
  • Fever and colic are also associated. Amoebic dysentery
  • Two to six (2-6) stools are passed in 24 hours.
  • Mucous is more as compared to blood.
  • Many times the stools are passed with colic.

In both the dysenteries, dehydration may result, if the child loses large amount of water and salts. Patients after recovery often remain in poor health.

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Mode of Spread

For all forms, it is though the mouth by food and water contaminated with the excreta of patients, suffering form dysentery. The germs are present in the stool of infected person. If an infected person passes stool near the pond or river, the water gets contaminated. More so, if the infected person does not wash his/ her hands properly after passing the stool, the germs get into the persons nails, further contaminating the water in the pot and food as well. Dust and fly also play an important role in the transmission of infection.

Treatment

  • Complete bed rest in necessary.
  • Personal cleanliness on the part of the patient suffering from dysentery.
  • Doctor should be consulted immediately.

Prevention

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The following points should be borne in mind to prevent dysentery from your area:

1. Maintain personal hygiene, by washing hands thoroughly after passing before cooking food, eating and feeding a child.

2. The children should be trained to wash hands regularly and develop healthy toiled habits.

3. Pour water from the pot or use a ladle to take out water.

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4. Do not defecate near pond or river. Use latrine.

5. All food should be properly protected from the flies.

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