Shigella is a group of bacteria that causes an intestinal infection referred to as shigellosis, explains Mayo Clinic. The infection spreads via contact with the bacteria, which is present in infected stool. Consuming water or food contaminated with the bacteria is another way to spread shigella infections.
Shigella infections are most common in children between the ages of 2 and 4, explains KidsHealth. Symptoms of shigellosis include watery diarrhea, stomach upset, fever and vomiting. Sufferers may also experience appetite loss and discomfort when passing bowel movements. Severe infections can lead to dehydration that may require hospitalization. In some cases, shigella infections resolve on their own without treatment; however, doctors may recommend antibiotics to prevent passing the bacteria to healthy individuals.