Drug-resistant bacteria that cause stomach bug symptoms are rising, according to a warning issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This type of bacteria, known as Shigella, is becoming increasingly resistant to the antibiotics used to treat it, making it harder to control and potentially more dangerous.
Shigella is a type of bacteria that can cause various symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. It is typically spread through contaminated food or water and can quickly spread from person to person, especially in crowded areas such as daycare centers, schools, and nursing homes.
The CDC warns that drug-resistant strains of Shigella are becoming more common, with cases of antibiotic-resistant infections increasing by almost 40% between 2015 and 2019. It is particularly concerning because Shigella is already a highly contagious infection, and the emergence of drug-resistant strains is becoming harder to treat and control.
The rise in drug-resistant bacteria results from the overuse and misuse of antibiotics. When antibiotics are used too frequently or unnecessarily, they can create an environment in which bacteria can develop resistance to them. It is a particular problem with Shigella, which has a high resistance rate to many common antibiotics.
To combat the rise of drug-resistant Shigella, the CDC recommends several steps. These include practicing good hygiene, such as washing hands thoroughly and frequently, especially after using the bathroom or changing diapers. People with symptoms of Shigella should avoid preparing food for others, and anyone diagnosed with the infection should stay home from work or school until they have been symptom-free for at least 48 hours.
In addition, doctors and healthcare providers are encouraged to use antibiotics judiciously and to follow CDC guidelines when treating infections. It can help to slow the development of antibiotic resistance and preserve the effectiveness of existing treatments.
The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is a growing concern. The CDC warning about Shigella highlights the need for greater awareness and action to prevent the spread of these infections. Avoiding disease and using antibiotics appropriately can help slow the development of drug-resistant bacteria and protect public health.