Causes, Symptoms & Prevention Of Children Dysentery

Posted In: Pediatrician (Child Specialist)     2018-02-22     36

Mostly developing countries are prone to childhood dysentery that causes an increase in death rate of children. Dysentery is a gastrointestinal disorder distinguished by inflammation of the intestines, specifically, the colon seldom results in necrosis and ulceration of the mucosa due to certain specific bacilli, protozoa or helminths and symptoms include abdominal pain, cramps, straining at stool and frequent passage of watery diarrhea or stools containing blood and mucus. Word dysentery comes from two Greek words meaning "ill" or "bad" and "intestine.” Find the nearest diagnostic centers in Bangalore with Cureplus


Types of dysentery:

a)      Amoebic dysentery or intestinal Amoebiasis, caused by a single-celled, microscopic parasite living in the large bowel.


b)      Bacillary dysentery is caused by invasive bacteria.

Both types of dysentery occur mostly in hot countries. The risk of spreading of dysentery increases due to poor hygiene and sanitation.


Causes of Dysentery

·         Bacterial infection is the most common known cause of dysentery. Bacterial infections include species of bacteria such as ShigellaCampylobacter, E. coli, and Salmonella

·         Chemical irritants or intestinal worms also cause dysentery.

·         Intestinal amoebiasis is caused by a protozoan parasite, Entamoeba histolytica


 Symptoms of dysentery

The main symptoms of dysentery are frequent liquid diarrhea with blood, mucus, or pus. Other symptoms that include are:-

  • sudden onset of high fever and chills
  • abdominal pain
  • cramps and bloating
  • flatulence (passing gas)
  • the urgency to pass stool
  • the feeling of incomplete emptying
  • loss of appetite
  • weight loss
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • vomiting
  • dehydration

In Bacillary dysentery symptoms starts within 2 to 10 days of infection. In children, the illness starts with fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea.

You may also feel weak and anemic; drastic weights lose. In mild bacillary dysentery may last from 4 to 8 days, while severe may last from 3 to 6 weeks. Amoebiasis often lasts about 2 weeks. In very severe bacillary dysentery Complications can occur that include delirium, convulsions, and coma. 

Complications related to amoebic dysentery may experience problems associated with amoebiasis such as amoebic abscess when parasite spreads to the liver. In this case, you would have a high fever and experience weight loss and pain in the right shoulder or upper abdominal.


How to diagnosis dysentery


Physical examination

The mouth, skin, and lips may appear dry due to dehydration. Lower abdominal tenderness may also be observed.


Stool and blood sample tests  

Cultures of stool samples are examined to identify the organism causing dysentery.



Anti-parasitic medications can be used for treatment such as metronidazole and iodoquinol. These are commonly used to treat dysentery caused by amoebiasis. Antibiotics ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin, levofloxacin, or azithromycin are used to treat the organisms causing bacillary dysentery.

It is very important to make up the fluid lost during diarrhea, in mild cases soft drinks, juices, and bottled water will be enough but in severe cases take in electrolytes solution containing potassium, salt, and sucrose.



Dysentery can also be prevented by following measures:-

  • Do not eat any foods cooked in an unhygienic way, such as from street vendors.
  • Only eat cooked foods that have been heated to a high temperature.
  • Do not eat raw vegetables.
  •  Avoid species of fruits without peels.
  • Open fruits with peels yourself.
  • Drink only commercially bottled or boiled water.
  • Do not use ice unless it has been made from purified water.
  • Use only bottled or boiled water to wash and to cook food in, to wash hands, and to brush teeth.
  •  Travel with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.