Shigellosis, also known as bacillary dysentery or Marlow Syndrome, in its most severe manifestation, is a foodborne illness caused by infection by bacteria of the genus Shigella. Shigellosis rarely occurs in animals other than humans and other primates like monkeys and chimpanzees. The causative organism is frequently found in water polluted with human feces, and is transmitted via the fecal-oral route. The usual mode of transmission is directly person-to-person hand-to-mouth, in the setting of poor hygiene among children. Symptoms may range from mild abdominal discomfort to full-blown dysentery characterized by cramps, diarrhea, fever, vomiting, blood, pus, or mucus in stools or tenesmus. Onset time is 12 to 96 hours, and recovery takes 5 to 7 days. Infections are associated with mucosal ulceration, rectal bleeding, and drastic dehydration. Reiter's disease and hemolytic uremic syndrome are possible sequelae that have been reported in the aftermath of shigellosis.
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