Kerala health department has identified Shigella bacteria as the cause for the food poisoning incident in Kasaragod, which claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl and led to 30-odd others being admitted to hospital.
The presence of the bacteria was confirmed in the blood and faeces of people undergoing treatment after they consumed chicken shawarma from an eatery at Cheruvathur in Kasaragod.
About ‘Shigella’ –
- Shigella is a bacterium that belongs to the enterobacter family — a group of bacteria that reside in the intestine, not all of which cause disease in humans. It mainly affects the intestine and results in diarrhoea, sometimes bloody, stomach pain, and fever.
- Shigellosis is not a very common infection. It is a food and water-borne infection, and can happen when someone consumes contaminated food — unwashed fruit or vegetables.
- The disease is easily spread by direct or indirect contact with the excrement of the patient. You can get the infection if you swim or take a bath in contaminated water.
- There are four types of Shigella bacteria that affect humans — Shigella sonnei, Shigella flexneri, Shigella boydii, and Shigella dysenteriae. The fourth type causes the most severe disease because of the toxin it produces.