COSTA RICA NEWS — Health officials say they have seen an increase in cases of diarrhea this year, a tendency caused by the presence of bacteria in contaminated water.
The bacteria called Shigella is responsible for the peak, some 7.000 more cases this year over last. The transmission of bacteria is anus–hand-mouth, and can be acquired through contaminated food or water.
The Ministerio de Salud (Ministry of Health) warns that storing liquid in plastic containers during water service interruptions could lead to cases of diarrhea.
Proper hand washing, especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers, is a hygiene measure to avoid falling victim to this bacterium that causes diarrhea, which if not treated in time could be deadly.
Shigella is a genus of Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, nonspore-forming, nonmotile, rod-shaped bacteria closely related to Salmonella. The genus is named after Kiyoshi Shiga, who first discovered it in 1897.
The causative agent of human shigellosis, Shigella causes disease in primates, but not in other mammals. It is only naturally found in humans and apes. During infection, it typically causes dysentery. Shigella is one of the leading bacterial causes of diarrhea worldwide. Insufficient data exist, but conservative estimates suggest Shigella causes about 90 million cases of severe dysentery, with at least 100,000 of these resulting in death, each year, mostly among children in the developing world.