Signs and symptoms of dysentery
Severe, often bloody diarrhea, vomitting, fever; life-threatening if untreated. Dysentery is inflammation of the bowel resulting from infection.
There are two kinds – dysentery caused by a bacterial germ (bacillary dysentery or shigellosis), and amoebic dysentery, caused by an amoeba called Entamoeba histolytica.
Dysentery is a more serious form of diarrhea, where the stools are tinged with blood and mucus. The diarrhea can be quite severe, characterized by colicky pains and frequent urging. Stools can be passed as often as fifteen to thirty times per day. The onset is typically sudden, accompanied by a high fever and thirst. The illness causes great fatigue and depletion of strength. Dehydration is a serious side-effect, especially if the person becomes too weak to drink enough liquids. In cases of amebic dysentery, the symptoms are quite mild, with constipation and diarrhea alternating, combined with some intestinal cramping and gas. The danger of an amebic dysentery is involvement of the liver, and can lead to hepatitis, cysts and abscesses. These liver problems can remain dormant for many years.