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E. Coli Infection

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  • E. coli Infection

    E. coli (Escherichia coli) is the name of a germ, or bacterium,that lives in the digestive tracts of humans and animals.There are many types of E. coli, and most of them are harmless. But some can cause bloody diarrhea. Some strains of E. coli bacteria (such as a strain called O157:H7) may also cause severe anemia or kidney failure, which can lead to death.Other strains of E. coli can cause urinary tract infections or other infections. E. coli can get into meat during processing. If the infected meat is not cooked to 160°F (71°C), the bacteria can survive and infect you when you eat the meat. This is the most common way people become infected with E. coli. Any food that has been in contact with raw meat can also become infected. The bacteria can also spread from one person to another, usually when an infected person does not wash his or her hands well after a bowel movement. E. coli can spread from an infected person's hands to other people or to objects.

  • E. coli Infection

    Symptoms:

    • abdominal cramping
    • sudden, severe watery diarrhea that may change to bloody stools
    • loss of appetite/nausea
    • fatigue
    • fever
    • bloody urine
    • pale skin
    • dehydration
  • E. coli Infection

    Diagnosis:

    During the physical examination, a doctor will usually:

    • Take your temperature.
    • Take your blood pressure and determine pulse rate.
    • Look at your skin color to see whether you are unusually pale.
    • Check your stomach for tenderness.
    • Perform a rectal exam to find out whether you have blood in your stool.
  • E. coli Infection

    Treatment:

    If symptoms of severe blood or kidney problems such as anemia or kidney failure are developed, then treatment may include:

    • Careful regulation of fluids and essential minerals.
    • Dialysis, to filter waste products from blood. Some people with kidney failure caused by E. coli infection require dialysis.
    • Blood transfusion, to treat anemia by giving additional oxygen-rich red blood cells.

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