E. coli Outbreak: Learn about E. coli Infection Causes, Symptoms & Prevention

Diseases - (on November 25, 2015 09:53 AM)

E. coli is scientifically known as Escherichia coli. It is a rod shaped bacteria commonly found in lower intestine of humans and animals. There are more than one hundred different types of strains of E. coli some of which are harmless while others are dangerous and can result in severe abdominal pain, urinary tract infection, kidney failure and even death.

Here you can learn about the types of E. coli that can cause an infection, its symptoms and prevention methods.


What Causes E coli Infection?


Many types of non-pathogenic E. coli strains that do not cause disease are commonly found in the human intestinal tract. However, the infection causing E. coli strains are usually acquired by consuming spoiled food specially animal meat. Processed Ground beef is a common example of food that can cause the E. coli infection. This type of infected meat if produced in bulk usually results in the E coli outbreak.

Types of E coli Bacteria that can cause an infection

Two types of E. coli strains are known to cause an infection. They are E. coli 026:H11 and O157:H7. While E. coli 026:H11 can result in severe abdominal pain and urinary tract infection, E. coli O157:H7 is considered to be fatal as it can result in kidney failure and even death.

E. coli Infection Symptoms


  • Getting cramps in the abdomen.
  • Watery diarrhea and bloody stools.
  • Suffering with stomach gas.
  • Losing the appetite.
  • Feeling nausea and sometimes vomiting.
  • Feelings of weakness.
  • Having a fever.


While symptoms of the E. coli infection may take three to four days to appear after coming in contact with the E. Coli bacteria, in some cases the signs and symptoms of the E. coli infection can appear overnight.


E. coli Prevention


There are no vaccines currently available that can prevent a human from the getting the E. coli infection. However, preventive methods usually employed are:

Washing hands before cooking food and eating food.
Washing meats and vegetables properly before cooking and eating them.
Cooking food properly and at temperatures that can kill the E. coli bacteria.


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