Diagnosis and Treatment

CDC Health Advisory: Recommendations for managing and reporting Shigella infections with possible reduced susceptibility to ciprofloxacin.


Doctor consulting with patient

Infection is diagnosed when a laboratory identifies Shigella in the stool (poop) of an ill person. The test could be a culture that isolates the bacteria or a rapid diagnostic test that detects genetic material of the bacteria.


Contact your healthcare provider if you or one of your family members have bloody diarrhea or severe stomach cramping or tenderness, especially if you also have fever or feel very sick. Tell your healthcare provider if you have other medical conditions or a weakened immune system, such as from HIV infection or chemotherapy treatment, because you may be more likely to become severely ill.

  • People with Shigella infection should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • People with bloody diarrhea should not use anti-diarrheal medication, such as loperamide (Imodium) or diphenoxylate with atropine (Lomotil). These medications may make symptoms worse.
  • Antibiotics can shorten the time you have fever and diarrhea by about 2 days.
  • Ciprofloxacin and azithromycin are two recommended oral antibiotics.

If your healthcare provider prescribes an antibiotic, take it exactly as directed and finish taking all the pills even if you feel better.