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Shigellosis is an infectious bacterial disease that causes diarrhea, fever, and stomach cramps. In some persons, especially young children and the elderly, the diarrhea can be so severe that the patient needs to be hospitalized. A severe infection with high fever may also be associated with seizures in children less than 2 years old.
The spread of shigellosis can be prevented by frequent and careful handwashing with soap. Handwashing is important for all age groups, since adults can spread the disease to children.