What is Shigella?
Shigella bacteria cause an intestinal disease called shigellosis. They cause approximately 450,000 infections in the United States each year. Shigella is found in the feces of infected people, in food or water contaminated by an infected person, and on surfaces that have been touched by infected people. Due to antibiotic resistance, some antibiotics may not be effective for treating some Shigella infections.
Preventing the Spread of Shigella
Shigella can spread by the following means :
- Touching surfaces contaminated with germs from a sick person’s stool—such as toys, bathroom fixtures, changing tables, or diaper pails
- Eating food contaminated through one of the following:
- It was prepared by someone sick with shigellosis
- It is consumed raw and more likely to be contaminated (fruits and vegetables can contain Shigella germs if they are grown in fields containing human waste)
- Swallowing recreational water (for example, lake or river water) while swimming or drinking water that is contaminated with poop containing the germ
- Having exposure to stool during sexual contact with someone who is sick or has recently recovered from shigellosis
Regular hand hygiene and surface disinfection are important preventative measures. Since this bacterium can be found in contaminated water, proper water purification is a vital component in preventing the spread of Shigella. Since household wells can be a source of Shigella infection, they should be tested regularly and properly maintained. Pools and other recreational water sources should be properly disinfected. This bacterium can also be spread through food — either due to poor hand hygiene of food handlers or because raw produce is irrigated or washed with contaminated water. Wash all fruits and vegetables well under running water and cook meat thoroughly .
Get Additional Protection with Germicidal UV Disinfection
In addition to the above preventative measures, Germicidal Ultraviolet (UV-C) surface disinfection (at the dosage listed below) can inactivate the Shigella in many applications. Our products use STER-L-RAY® Germicidal UV-C Lamps producing ultraviolet wavelengths at 254 nanometers, the region of germicidal effectiveness most destructive to harmful microorganisms.
Germicidal Ultraviolet (UV-C) Water Purification can inactivate Shigella in drinking water or water used for food preparation. View our application page on Well Water Contamination for more information on how UV purification can help protect your well water against Shigella and many other harmful microorganisms. Germicidal UV Disinfection can be used to protect pools and other recreational water sources from various pathogens . Restaurants, retailers, and meat processing facilities will benefit by adding UV-C surface disinfection to their regular sanitizing procedures. View our application-specific page on UV-C in Meat Processing. Another benefit of installing UV water purifiers is the ability to operate as usual during a boil water alert.
Shigella: Classification & Germicidal UV Dose for Inactivation
|Organism:||Alternate Name:||Type:||Disease:||UV Dose*:|
|Shigella dysenteriae||—||Bacteria||Shigellosis||4.20 mJ/cm2|
|Shigella flexneri||—||Bacteria||Shigellosis||3.40 mJ/cm2|
|Shigella sonnei||—||Bacteria||Shigellosis||7.0 mJ/cm2|
Where is it found?
What can it infect?
How does it spread?
People at High Risk for Contracting an Infection
While anyone can contract a Shigella infection, certain groups of people are more likely to get the disease:
- Young children (Many outbreaks are related to childcare settings and schools.)
- Travelers to developing countries who consume food, drinking water, or recreational water containing Shigella
- Gay or bisexual men (who may transfer germs from one person to the mouth of another during sexual activity)
- People with compromised immune systems due to illness (such as HIV) or medical treatment (such as chemotherapy)
Symptoms of a Shigella infection usually last 5 to 7 days, but some people may experience symptoms for a month or more. Symptoms of Shigellosis include:
- Diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
- Stomach pain
- Feeling the need to pass a stool even when the bowels are empty
Sources on Shigella:
The above information can be found on the following pages. Please read complete articles to learn more.
- CDC: Shigella
- CDC: Travelers’ Health
- Minnesota Department of Health: Shigellosis (Shigella) Fact Sheet
* Nominal germicidal UV dosage necessary to inactivate better than 99% of microorganism.
- The Use of Ultraviolet Light for Microbial Control”, Ultrapure Water, April 1989.
- Dr. Robert W. Legan, “Alternative Disinfection Methods-A Comparison of UV and Ozone”, Industrial Water Engineering, Mar/Apr 1982.
- Myron Lupal, “UV Offers Reliable Disinfection”, Water Conditioning & Purification, November 1993.
- Bak Srikanth, “The Basic Benefits of Ultraviolet Technology”, Water Conditioning & Purification, December 1995.
Learn More & Shop Our Products to Inactivate Shigella
Made in the USA from U.S. and imported parts, the UV Air & Surface Disinfection and UV Water Purification product lines from Atlantic Ultraviolet Corporation® are constructed of the highest quality materials and use germicidal UV-C lamps to disinfect air, surfaces, and water, inactivating microorganisms like Shigella.
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- Download UV-C Air & Surface Documents from our PDF Library
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- View all the applications that can benefit from Germicidal UV-C
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