Recently, a shocking case of a girl dying and 58 people falling ill after eating Shawarma came to light from a district in Northern Kerala. On inspection, it was found that traces of Shigella and Salmonella bacteria were found in the food sample. Given our gastronomic culture of spicy street treats, we Indians often dismiss food poisoning as a mundane issue. However, as gathered from the recent incident, food poisoning can also be fatal. Given the ongoing heatwave conditions, there is a need for extra caution by all.
Bacterias Shigella and Salmonella bacterias cause intestinal infections. Shigella is one of the key causes of Diarrhoea. Shigella can cause an infection called Shigellosis whereas Salmonella can cause Salmonellosis. Food poisoning caused by these bacteria is common in young children who live away from home. The disease usually goes away in 5 to 7 days with rest and fluids. But in severe cases, you may need to go to the hospital.
The Shigella infection is highly contagious as it may infect people when they come in contact with Shigella or swallow the bacteria present in any food or eat something from the plate of a person infected with shigella.
Salmonella infection is usually caused when people eat raw or undercooked non-veg foods like meat, poultry, and eggs or egg products or by drinking unpasteurized milk or they become infected most frequently through contaminated water or food.
The main sign of Shigella and Salmonella infection is usually common such as diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fever, nausea and vomiting. In serious cases, chills, headache and blood in the stool. The symptoms start to show within a day and it may take up to a week to develop. Small children are prone to such infections and may show symptoms such as lack of tears in children, sunken eyes and dry diapers. Severe dehydration can lead to shock.