Faecal-oral transmission. Usually passed from person-to-person (especially between young children), although food and water contaminated by human faeces can also spread infection. Shigella sonnei is, by far, the commonest species in the UK. Other species are Sh. boydii, Sh . dysenteriae and Sh . flexneri.
Main clinical features
Diarrhoea (often dysenteric, i.e. with blood and mucus in the stools), fever, nausea. Sequelae include toxaemia and toxic megacolon.
Usually 1 - 3 days, may range from 12 - 96 hours, and up to a week
Voluntary laboratory reports and surveillance of general outbreaks of infectious intestinal disease.
Last reviewed: 30 June 2009