What is it?
The infection is known as shigellosis and is caused by a bacteria. It is known as dysentery if your faeces contains blood.
Who can get it?
Anyone who has oral-anal contact (rimming) with a person with the infection.
You could also get it from a parent who hasn’t washed their hands properly after changing a baby’s nappy.
You could even get it from eating food prepared by a person who didn’t wash their hands properly after defecating.
What are the symptoms?
You will have diarrhoea, which could contain blood, known as dysentery. You could have a fever, abdominal or rectal pain around 12 to 96 hours after coming into contact with shigella. You should ensure you keep yourself well hydrated.
How do I protect myself?
You could help protect yourself by using a dental dam you have oral-anal contact (if you rim a persons bum hole). Wear gloves if you are fisting.
Avoid having sexual contact with a person who has diarrhoea or has recently had diarrhoea.
Normally you should recover within a week or two. If your urinating less than usual, or if your urine is darker and stronger than usual, you should ensure you keep yourself hydrated and perhaps use Dioralyte, but using imodium is generally not recommended.
It is possible to test for shigella by checking your stool for the presence of shigella bacteria and toxins.
You may only need anti-botic treatment if your infection is severe, as some of the bacteria have become drug resistant.