Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Diarrhea due to Shigella Prevention

Prevention of a shigella infection includes:

  • Wash your hands after using the toilet.
  • Avoid eating raw clams or oysters.
  • Do not drink unpasteurized milk.
  • Do not share food utensils.
  • Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly.
  • Wash your hands after handling raw meat, seafood, or poultry.
  • Make sure all meat, poultry and fish products are well cooked.
  • Re-heat leftover foods thoroughly.
  • Travelers can take 2 tablets of Pepto-Bismol with each meal and at bedtime.
  • Travelers to developing countries should avoid:
    • Foods that are not steaming hot
    • Raw vegetables
    • Fruit they have not peeled themselves
    • Tap water, including ice

Diarrhea due to Shigella Travel Precautions

Travel precautions for shigella infection include:

  • Travelers to developing nations should avoid:
    • Raw vegetables
    • Fruit they have not peeled themselves
    • Tap water, including ice
  • Travelers may take 2 tablets of Pepto-Bismol with each meal and at bedtime to help prevent infection.
  • Beverages should be boiled or treated to eliminate bacteria or viruses.
    • Boiling clear water for 5 minutes will eliminate most pathogens.
    • Chlorine or iodine tablets are also effective.
    • In an emergency, fresh 5% laundry bleach can be used to purify the water.
    • Five drops of bleach should be added to one quart (or liter) of water, and allowed to sit for 30 minutes prior to drinking.
  • Drink bottled water:
    • Bottled water is available on most tourist routes.
    • Bottled beverages should be safe if the seal is not broken.
  • Portable water filters are not proven to be effective.
  • Do not eat salads, milk or milk products, or fruits.
    • Avoid leafy, cold salads because they may have been rinsed with contaminated water.
  • Vegetables should be cooked or boiled and served steaming hot.
  • Meat should be thoroughly cooked.
    • Avoid pork.

Continue to Diarrhea due to Shigella Outlook

Last Updated: Jul 8, 2009 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Diarrhea due to Shigella References
  1. Bhattacharya SK, Sur D. An evaluation of current shigellosis treatment. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2003 Aug;4(8):1315-20. [12877639]
  2. Gupta A, Polyak CS, Bishop RD, Sobel J, Mintz ED. Laboratory-confirmed shigellosis in the United States, 1989-2002: epidemiologic trends and patterns. Clin Infect Dis. 2004 May 15;38(10):1372-7. [15156473]
  3. Lee LA, Shapiro CN, Hargrett-Bean N, Tauxe RV. Hyperendemic shigellosis in the United States: a review of surveillance data for 1967-1988. J Infect Dis. 1991 Nov;164(5):894-900. [1940468]
  4. Niyogi SK. Shigellosis. J Microbiol. 2005 Apr;43(2):133-43. [15880088]
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