Outbreaks of shigella enteritis are associated with poor sanitation, inadequate water supplies, contaminated food, crowded living conditions, and fly-infested environments.
Shigella enteritis is common among travelers in developing countries and workers or residents of reservations, refugee camps, and similar institutions. The incubation period is 1 to 7 days, with an average of 3 days.
Although uncommon in adults, neurologic symptoms can develop in children. In up to 40% of children with severe shigella enteritis, febrile seizures, headache, lethargy, confusion, and stiff neck resembling meningitis (nuchal rigidity) can occur.
There are about 18,000 cases of shigella enteritis per year in the US.