|Noah Webster's Dictionary|
(n.) A disease attended with inflammation and ulceration of the colon and rectum, and characterized by griping pains, constant desire to evacuate the bowels, and the discharge of mucus and blood.
Int. Standard Bible Encyclopedia
In Acts 28:8 the Revised Version (British and American) uses this word in place of the phrase "bloody flux" of the King James Version to describe the disease by which the father of Publius was affected in Malta at the time of Paul's shipwreck. The acute form of this disease is often attended with high temperature, hence, Luke speaks of it as "fever and dysentery" (puretois kai dusenteria).
The disease is still occasionally epidemic in Malta where there have been several bad outbreaks among the garrison in the last century, and it has proved to be an intractable and fatal disease there. It is due to parasitic microbe, the Bacillus dysenteriae. In 2 Chronicles 21:19 there is reference to an epidemic of a similar nature in the days of Jehoram. The malady, as predicted by Elisha, attacked the king and assumed a chronic form in the course of which portions of the intestine sloughed. This condition sometimes occurs in the amoebic form of dysentery, cases of which sometimes last over two years.
Dysentery (1 Occurrence)
Acts 28:8 It happened that the father of Publius lay sick of fever and dysentery. Paul entered in to him, prayed, and laying his hands on him, healed him. (WEB WEY ASV DBY YLT NAS RSV NIV)