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Shigellosis is a diarrheal infection caused by Shigella bacteria, most commonly S. sonnei and S. flexneri. The organism is spread through the fecal-oral route and humans are the only known host. Food and water contaminated with human fecal matter are common vehicles of transmission. Because the infective dose of Shigella bacteria is very low, this infection is easily transmitted via household or sexual contact. Travelers to developing countries with poor sanitation are also at risk for infection.

Resources for the general public

  • Shigellosis facts, CDC

  • Sex and Shigellosis - Learn how to decrease sexual transmission of shigellosis and view a health advisory about cases in King County that have required hospitalization. Warning: Contains language and content targeted at individuals with sexual practices that increase the risk of shigellosis transmission.
    • Shigellosis (PDF, flyer): Increase in cases among men who have sex with men.

Resources for health care professionals