Sign up for a free Medical News Today account to customize your medical and health news experiences. Most strains of E.
What Is E. Coli?
However, some types can cause illness in humans, including diarrhea , abdominal pain, fever , and sometimes vomiting. H7 is one of the strains, and produces a toxin known as Shiga. It is one of the most powerful toxins, and it can cause an intestinal infection. Some , Shiga toxin-producing E. Around 36 percent of these are probably caused by E. When a foodborne outbreak occurs, it usually involves a shiga toxin-producing E. Most people recover within 6 to 8 days , but it can be life-threatening in infants and people with a weakened immune system.
Some other types of E. Symptoms of infection with E. However, symptoms may appear as early as 24 hours or as late as 1 week later.
There is no cure for E. It has to resolve itself. Antibiotics are not advised. They may increase the risk of HUS. Over-the-counter OTC medications for diarrhea are not recommended, as they can slow down the digestive system, undermining the body's ability to eliminate the toxins efficiently. The exit of the urinary tract is near the anus, and so the bacteria can spread from the GI tract to the urinary tract.
E. coli - Symptoms and causes - Mayo Clinic
The group of E. H7 produces a potent toxin called Shiga. This toxin can harm the lining of the small intestine. Tap water in the US is treated and contains chlorine, but some E. Travelers to places where water may be untreated should be careful when drinking water, using ice or eating vegetables washed in water of uncertain origin.
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Possible sources include undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized milk, juice, cider, or cheese, alfalfa sprouts or raw vegetables. Infected people who work in restaurants and do not wash their hands properly after going to the toilet can spread the infection to customers and other members of staff. Good hand hygiene is important in stopping the spread of infection. People with a weakened immune system are more prone to complications. This includes patients with AIDS , those taking immunosuppressive medications, and people receiving chemotherapy.
E. Coli Infection
Patients with decreased stomach acid , either due to stomach surgery or medicines that lower stomach acid, have a higher risk of infection. Young children and older people have a higher risk of developing serious illness and complications.
- Escherichia coli Infections - Infectious Diseases - MSD Manual Professional Edition.
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The bacteria that cause infection can enter into your body in a number of ways. Whether food is prepared at home, in a restaurant, or in a grocery store, unsafe handling and preparation can cause contamination. Common causes of food poisoning include:.
Poor sanitation can cause water to contain bacteria from human or animal waste. You can get the infection from drinking contaminated water or from swimming in it. The bacteria are then spread when that person touches someone or something else, like food. Nursing homes, schools, and child care facilities are particularly vulnerable to person-to-person spreading. People who work with animals, especially cows, goats, and sheep, are at increased risk for infection. Anyone who touches animals or who works in an environment with animals should wash their hands regularly and thoroughly. While anyone can experience an E.
Some risk factors include:. You should see your doctor if:.
Drink plenty of water, get lots of rest, and keep an eye out for more severe symptoms that require a call to your doctor. If you have bloody diarrhea or fever, check with your doctor before taking over-the-counter antidiarrheal medications. You should always check with your pediatrician before giving medications to infants or children. If dehydration is a concern, your doctor may order hospitalization and intravenous fluids.
Most people show improvement within five to seven days after the onset of an infection, and make a full recovery. Practicing safe food behaviors can decrease your chances of developing an intestinal infection due to E. You should also make sure that all meat is cooked properly. Department of Agriculture provides guidelines for cooking meat and poultry to proper temperatures to make sure all bacteria are killed.
You can use a meat thermometer to check that meat is cooked to these temperatures:. Toxin assays may help identify the cause of diarrhea.
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Treatment with antibiotics is guided by susceptibility testing. When ingested, the following strains can cause diarrhea:. These strains including serotype O Such strains have most often been acquired from undercooked ground beef but may also be acquired from infected people by the fecal-oral route when hygiene is inadequate. These strains can cause watery diarrhea, particularly in infants and travelers traveler's diarrhea.
Some strains are emerging as potentially important causes of persistent diarrhea in patients with AIDS and in children in tropical areas. Other strains are capable of causing extraintestinal infection if normal intestinal anatomic barriers are disrupted eg, by ischemia, inflammatory bowel disease, or trauma , in which case the organism may spread to adjacent structures or invade the bloodstream. Hepatobiliary, peritoneal, cutaneous, and pulmonary infections also occur. In neonates, particularly preterm infants, E. Samples of blood, stool, or other clinical material are sent for culture.