• An intestinal inflammation, especially in the colon, that can lead to severe diarrhea with mucus or blood in the feces.
  • Patients typically experience mild to severe abdominal pain or stomach cramps.
    • Untreated dysentery can be life-threatening, especially if the infected person cannot replace lost fluids fast enough.

According to the World Health Organization, there are two main types of dysentery:

  • Bacillary dysentery
    • Caused by Shigella, a bacterium.
    • In Western Europe and the USA it is the most common type of dysentery among people who have not recently been to the tropics.
  • Amoebic dysentery (amoebiasis)
    • Caused by Entamoeba histolytica, a type of amoeba, and is more common in the tropics

Symptoms of amoebic dysentery include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever and chills
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Watery diarrhea, which can contain blood, mucus or pus
  • Painful passing of stools
  • Fatigue
  • Intermittent constipation


  • Physician may do/request:
    • History & Physical Exam
  • Other additional tests such as:
    • Stool sample
    • Ultrasound
    • Endoscopy



  • Rehydration therapy – initially this is done using oral rehydration.
  • Antibiotics and amoebicidal drugs.
    • If symptoms are not severe and the doctor determines it is Bacillary dysentery (Shigella).
      • No medication; Oral rehydration is important.
    • If amoebic dysentery
      • 10-day course of an antimicrobial medication, such as Flagyl (metronidazole). Diloxanide furoate, paromomycin (Humatin), or iodoquinol (Yodoxin) may also be prescribed.

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