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UK | Rise in extremely drug-resistant Shigella in gay and bi men

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Health experts in the UK are advising gay and bisexual men to take precautions to minimise the risk of Shigella, a sexually transmitted infection with growing antibiotic resistance. On Thursday, the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said it had detected a rise in cases of extremely antibiotic-resistant Shigella sonnei infections, mainly in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM).

Shigella is a gut infection that causes diarrhoea (sometimes mixed with blood), stomach cramps and fever. It is caused by bacteria found in faeces.

Sex that may involve anal contact or contact with faeces is one way that the infection can spread. It is passed on through the faecal-oral route during sex, either directly or via unwashed hands and only a tiny amount of bacteria can spread the infection.

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