This article goes over risk factors that affect the spread of Shigella, a bacteria that eventually leads to dysentery. To collect their data, the researchers collected fecal samples, which is how they determined that someone had shigella. They studied occupants of what they call “high risk” households; those in which had a member of the house that was 16 or younger. The researchers were particularly interested if infection occurred again after a patient was treated. They then tested for infection by placing the fecal samples in saline solutions and plate them onto agar. This study took place in the Netherlands, where Shigellosis must be notified by law. It is not like this in every country however, as laws regarding shigellosis differ depending on the local jurisdiction. In some cases, those who work in child care services as well as students themselves must be absent until a case of shigellosis in confirmed through the collection of a fecal sample. The researchers hypothesized that two factors could be associated with secondary transmission: individual characteristics of the contact (such as age or sex) as well as contextual factors within the household (such as size of the house, variation of Shigella, etc). From 2002 to 2009, there were 420 reports of shigellosis. 33 was the median age, and slightly over half reported cases were male. Furthermore, 31% of cases were reported in August and September alone. Naturally, diarrhea was observed in all cases.. However, some cases were excluded in the final results. One of them includes the group of MSM (men who have sex with men), or if the source of shigella was due to exposure to a food source already suspected of containing shigella. Secondary transmission was not observed in households that had a member working as a caregiver or someone in the food industry. This leaves 339 cases, 213 of which were non high risk. Over half of secondary infections correlate with primary cases that were 6 years old or less. Generally, secondary transmission was more likely the younger the child is. The researchers hypothesized this is so because the hygienic practices of children aged 4-5 especially may be inconsistent. This article is very useful in understanding more about how dysentery is transmitted. It also gives us valuable information in those most susceptible – children. Young children may not correctly practice hygiene after using the bathroom, which is what the article states is the likely reason why secondary infection was more likely to show up in that demographic. They would then go on to touch food and other people, and eventually results in the shigella entering through the mouth. The researches stress that it is important for parents to emphasize how important good hygiene is to their children. The most important thing for them to do is to wash their hands often. This is more helpful information as it gives us a prevention method for dysentery. Shigella outbreaks are more common in nurseries and schools, which is to be expected given that there a lots of children. This bit of information also tells us where exactly shigella is more common. It is already well known that sickness can be quite prevalent in schools, though shigella is a case where it affects younger children much more often.
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