Shigellosis is an infection of the bowel caused by the shigella bacteria. It is not common in New Zealand and is often acquired overseas. Travellers going to developing countries are at risk when they consume food or fluids that may be contaminated with the bacteria. Contamination often results from poor hygiene practices.
Common sources of Shigella disease are: person to person spread from someone who is infected with the bacteria,
eating food that has been contaminated by an infected food handler and drinking water or ice that is contaminated by sewage that contains the bacteria.
Proper hand hygiene is the main way to prevent contracting shigella. People travelling overseas should take extra care.