Dysentery primary prevention

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Kalsang Dolma, M.B.B.S.[2]

Primary Prevention

To reduce the risk of contracting dysentery the following precautions are suggested:[1]

  • Washing one's hands after using the toilet, after contact with an infected person, and regularly throughout the day.
  • Washing one's hands before handling, cooking and eating food, handling babies, and feeding young or elderly people.
  • Keeping contact with someone known to have dysentery to a minimum.
  • Washing laundry on the hottest setting possible.
  • Avoiding sharing items such as towels and face cloths.

Vaccines currently in development may eventually become a critical part of the strategy to reduce the incidence and severity of diarrhea, particularly among children in low-resource settings. For example, Shigella is a longstanding World Health Organization (WHO) target for vaccine development, and sharp declines in age-specific diarrhea/dysentery attack rates for this pathogen indicate that natural immunity does develop following exposure; thus, vaccination to prevent this disease should be feasible. Currently, no licensed vaccine targeting Shigella exists. The development of vaccines against these types of infection has been hampered by technical constraints, insufficient support for coordination, and a lack of market forces for research and development. Most vaccine development efforts are taking place in the public sector or as research programs within biotechnology companies. Several vaccine candidates are currently in various phases of research and development, including a number of ongoing clinical trials.[2]


  1. Hicks, Rob (January 2008). "BBC - Health: Dysentery". British Broadcasting Company. Retrieved February 5, 2011.
  2. Vaccine Resource Library. "More about [[shigellosis]] and [[enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli]] (ETEC)". Retrieved 2 May 2012. URL–wikilink conflict (help)

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