Shigellosis (Shigella Infection)

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Shigellosis is an illness caused by Shigella bacteria.

By hand-to-mouth contact with stool (feces) from a sick person or animal, eating contaminated foods, or drinking contaminated water.

You are more likely to get shigellosis if you:

  • Are a child in day care
  • Work in a day-care facility or with diapered children
  • Have contact with stool through sexual practices or caring for someone with shigellosis
  • Travel to a country where the food/water supply may be unsafe


  • Diarrhea which may be bloody
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach cramps

Treatment & Prevention

  • Avoid thawing foods on counters or in sinks and refrigerate leftovers right away.
  • Avoid drinking water from ponds, lakes, rivers, or swimming pools.
  • When traveling to a country where the water supply may be unsafe, boil your water or bring bottled water. Ask for drinks without ice.
  • Avoid sexual practices that bring you into contact with stool.

Always wash your hands:

  • After using the restroom
  • After changing a baby's diaper or touching anything soiled with stool (feces)
  • After cleaning the living areas of pets or livestock
  • Before serving or preparing food

School Exclusion Policy
Exclude until diarrhea free for 24 hours without the use of diarrhea suppressing medications and fever free for 24 hours without the use of fever suppressing medications.

Recent Texas Trends
From 2014-2018, the average number of cases of shigellosis reported in Texas had been 3,126 cases per year (ranging from 1,357 to 5,623). The number of shigellosis cases reported in Texas decreased from a peak of 5,623 cases reported in 2015 to 1,357 cases in 2018. However, the number of cases reported in 2019 tripled to 4,042. Approximately two-thirds, (66%) of cases reported in 2019 are between the ages of 0-19 years old with the majority of cases (58%) between the ages of 1-9 years old.

Last updated March 24, 2022