CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
Infection occurs when you accidentally swallow shigella bacteria. This can happen when you:
- Touch your mouth. If you don't wash your hands well after changing the diaper of a child who has shigella infection, you may become infected yourself. Direct person-to-person contact is the most common way the disease is spread.
- Eat contaminated food. Infected people who handle food can transmit the bacteria to people who eat the food. Food can also become contaminated if it grows in a field that contains sewage.
- Swallow contaminated water. Water may become contaminated either from sewage or from a person with shigella infection swimming in it.
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