The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) recently issued a health warning about the rise of Shigella, a bacteria that is transmitted through contact with fecal matter. Symptoms include: diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting. Symptoms usually occur 1-3 days after becoming infected but can range from 12 – 96 hours.
Men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) are at higher risk for getting Shigella infection (Shigellosis) and should take precautions including avoid direct contact between the mouth and the anus (“rimming”). Using a dam, plastic wrap, or a cut-open condom is recommended by the SFDPH if mouth-to-anus contact is likely to happen. In addition, thoroughly washing hands and other body parts or objects (sex toys, “marital aids”, etc.) that may have touched feces during sex is critical in preventing Shigellosis.
Individuals who are experiencing symptoms of Shigella infection can be screened and seek medical treatment at AHF San Francisco Men’s Wellness Center, located at 518A Castro St., San Francisco, CA 94114 (415) 252-4750 or find the nearest location at www.freeSTDcheck.org