According to reports of the UK Health Security Agency bisexual and gay men are warned to be aware and informed about a new variant of Shigella which is supposed to be antibiotic-resistant. It is a sexually transmitted infection.
Gay & Bisexual Men Should Be Aware Of This New Variant Of Shigella
The various heads of different organizations are worried about the infection and its potential to spread among the whole community.
Shigella is a gut infection that causes high levels of diarrhea and cramps in the stomach. In bisexual and gay men it is mainly spread due to oral sex. This can happen directly or even due to unwashed hands after the act as it only takes a minimum amount of bacteria to cause the infection. It can also be spread by licking the skin, toys, or condoms with feces on them.
Symptoms of Shigella are visible after around 1-3 days. People reporting these symptoms must report to the nearest doctor. The symptoms are as follows:-
- Frequent diarrhoea
- Cramps in the stomach.
Precautions to be taken to prevent shigella?
Shigella is a sexually transmitted disease in gay and bisexual men and the way to prevent it from happening are:-
- Wash your hands properly after touching a used condom , sex toy or if you’ve done fingering. It’s better to wash you buttocks and penis too after having sex by showering.
- Between anal and oral sex it’s necessary to change the condom so that the germs are not transported from the anus to the person’s mouth.
- Use latex gloves or condoms while fingering or even fisting .
About the reports
The reports of the UK Health Security Agency have urged bisexual and gay men to take notice of the sudden rise in Shigella cases in the UK. There are 47 cases reported in the past 4 months which seems not so much but it’s quite the growth from only 16 in the past 17 months. The Health Chiefs are more worried because of the nature of this strain which shows amazing resistance to antibiotics which is not a good sign for patients having it. Quinolone and azithromycin were the two types of antibiotics used to cure the disease by the new strain have shown superb resistance against these antibiotics. The disease is spread through anal contact during sex due to feces containing the bacteria which causes the disease. If there are unwashed hands that could contaminate a surface or place then it can occur in other people also. The main problem currently with this disease is that there are no to very less options of medications for shigella at this moment. Since it’s mainly found in bisexual and gay men that’s why it is declared as an endemic in England and it is said to start thousands of infections each year in the country. Officials claim that they have been guessing and giving out possibilities of such kind of variant of the disease since 2018.
Do’s and Dont’s for shigella patients
The things which are not to be done by the people suffering from shigella are:-
- No oral sex directly after anal sex.
- They should not have sex till after a week of the symptoms have vanished.
- They should also avoid spas , swimming pools, hot tubs and sharing towel.
The things to be done are as follows:-
- For bisexual men they need to take the symptoms seriously and get themselves tested.
- They should also get tested for other sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV as it might be so that they have some other infection.
- They should remain well hydrated by drinking a lot of water.
The conclusion which we came to is that bisexual and gay men should try to maintain more sexual hygiene to stop shigella from spreading. The researchers are still worried as they said that it’s not only men who have sex with men but there are women too, so it would not be hard for it to become a wider strain.