Disenteri adalah jangkitan bakteria atau ameba terhadap usus yang menyebabkan cirit-birit berdarah atau mukus. Disenteri mudah tersebar disebabkan amalan kebersihan dan kerap kali dijangkiti melalui makanan yang tercemar. Ketahui punca disenteri, cara ia tersebar dan langkah pencegahan ketika di rumah dan di luar negara.

Terdapat dua jenis disenteri:

  • Disenteri basilus (shigellosis) adalah disebabkan bakteria shigella yang ditemui di dalam najis dan di kebanyakan negara yang tidak mengamalkan kebersihan yang baik.
  • Disenteri ameba (amoebiasis) adalah disebabkan parasit satu sel bernama Entamoeba Histolyca yang ditemui di kawasan-kawasan tropika.

Kedua-dua disenteri biasanya disebarkan melalui amalan kebersihan yang teruk dan makanan yang tercemar.

Tanda-tanda yang biasa termasuklah:

  • Cirit-birit berdarah atau mukus
  • Kejang perut
  • Mual
  • Muntah-muntah
  • Sakit abdomen
  • Suhu tinggi

Wash your hands regularly:

With soap and clean water especially before handling, preparing or eating food, and after using the toilet.

Limit contact with infected people:

Try to use separate towels, bedding, cups and cutlery until they are well again.

Avoid drinking tap water if you are in a high risk area:

Make sure water is purified by boil it or treating with a chemical disinfectant. Alternatively drink bottled water instead.

Be careful with what you eat if you are in a high risk area:

Avoid raw fruit or vegetables unless they are still peeled, like a banana. Avoid milk, cheese or dairy products unless they have been pasteurised to kill bacteria. Food prepared by street vendors should also be avoided as you can’t be sure that it has been prepared safely. Unless you know the source, don’t take ice cubes in your drinks, these could have been made from the tap water.

Q. Tap water is safe drinking water

Not necessarily. In many countries around the world sanitation can be poor and hygiene rules less strict. Harmful germs and bacteria can sometimes find their way into local water sources and contaminate tap water. To stay safe, check that the water that you have access to is safe to drink and if unsure, boil tap water before using it or stick to bottled water wherever you can.

Q. I have a strong stomach so I won't get sick

It’s true that your immune system can get used to dealing with types of bacteria that you encounter every day. You may also have tried some adventurous food on holiday. But no one is naturally immune to dysentery, typhoid, cholera or hepatitis – the germs commonly responsible for food poisoning. Take steps to maintain good personal hygiene and avoid food that has been prepared in unsanitary areas.