Bacillary dysentery is an infectious disease of the intestinal tract. This disease is contagious and is spread through food, water, and any contact with an infected person. It usually only occurs during the summer and fall. Bacillary dysentery has been around for thousands of years, and has infected all types of people; however, this disease is not deadly. Bacillary dysentery is also known as Shigella. There are four different types of Shigella: dysenteriae, flexneri, boydii, and sonnei. Dyenteriae is the most severe and sonnei is the least severe.
Bacillary dysentery is caused by many different types of bacteria and amebas. The most common type of bacteria that causes this disease is the Shigella bacteria. These organisms usually enter the body through the mouth when food or water is ingested. Flies can also spread this disease. Young children seem to get this disease more than adults because of the poor hygiene in schools and nurseries where they are around other children. Because of deficient sewage in certain cities, water sometimes becomes contaminated and infects anyone who drinks the water.
An epidemic of bacillary dysentery occurred in Mogadiscio, a city in southeastern Somalia, in the early months of 1976. The cause of this outbreak was unknown; however, 27 people were killed by the infectious plague.