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Opinion

Shigella Bacterial Infection Contained in Kozhikode, Kerala Health Department Says

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Kerala’s health department said on Monday that the bacterial shigella infection detected in some areas of the Kozhikode district in northern Kerala has been controlled and no new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours.

The health department has taken many measures, including superchlorination of water bodies and organized several health camps after the disease claimed the life of an 11-year-old boy last week.

“The situation is under control. No new cases have been reported in the last 24 hours, ”District Medical Officer V Jayashree said, adding that the alert will continue in the district for longer. He said most of the suspected cases have been discharged and now only two children are in the hospital.

Health experts said contaminated water sources triggered the infection and a clear picture will emerge next week after several rounds of lab tests. At least 54 people with mild symptoms were identified during a medical camp on Saturday. The department of community medicine at Kozhikode Medical College Hospital has also launched an investigation.

Medical experts said the shigella bacteria triggers an infection called shigellosis and can cause serious problems for patients with comorbid conditions. Typically, diarrhea, which often contains blood or mucus in the stool, stomach pain, cramps, fever, and vomiting are the main symptoms of shigellosis. An infected person shows minor symptoms in a day or two, but it may take a week or so to show acute symptoms. Children under the age of 10 are prone to contracting the infection, although the elderly can also become infected, experts said adding patients with underlying medical conditions may require large doses of antibiotics.

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