Contaminated water, possible reason for Shigella infection fear in Kerala

Contaminated drinking water could be the possible cause for the Shigella infection that has created panic in Kerala with Kozhikode district in the spotlight even as the state is reeling under the Covid-19 pandemic. While an 11-year-old died in Kozhikode, there are at least 40 cases of infection in the district putting the health authorities on alert.

According to the health department, most of the suspected cases had attended the funeral of the deceased child or had taken food from the house. Authorities say contaminated water may be a source of the disease. However, the Shigella infection reported in the Kozhikode corporation limit has been brought under control. Shigellosis (shi-ghel-O-sis) is an infectious disease caused by a group of bacteria known as Shigella. The main symptoms include diarrhoea, often with traces of blood and mucus in the stool, stomach pain and fever. The symptoms may appear within seven days after exposure. Children under five years are more susceptible to contract the infection, though elders too can catch it. It is a common cause of waterborne outbreaks in the United States, though most of these outbreaks occur in recreational water rather than in drinking water.