Because many illnesses are characterized by bloody stools, a clinical diagnosis of a Shigella infection for you or someone in your family requires laboratory testing of a stool sample. Based on your set of symptoms, your physician will make a recommendation to the lab. Most labs will not test for Shigellosis specifically unless told to do so. In addition, the laboratory can perform tests to determine which type of Shigella you or your family member has and which antibiotics, if any, may be used to treat the infection.
Most cases of Shigellosis do not require treatment. The illness usually runs its course for about a week and then dissipates, leaving the infected individual fully recovered. Antibiotics are sometimes used to treat an infection in severe cases. Ampicillin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (also known as Bactrim or Septra), nalidixic acid, and ciprofloxacin are the antibiotics most commonly used to treat shigellosis. When the treatment is effective, it will kill Shigella bacteria in the stool and shorten the illness’s duration.
In cases with severe complications, hospitalization may be necessary. If you or someone you love has been hospitalized after a Shigella infection or after any other food-borne illness, contact Pritzker Hageman, P.A. for a free consultation regarding your legal rights and remedies. Call toll-free at 1-888-377-8900 or fill in the online consultation form.