E. coli infection is a type of bacteria that normally live in the intestines of people and animals. However, some types of E. coli, particularly E. coli 0157:H7, can cause intestinal infection. Most intestinal infections are caused by contaminated food or water. Proper food preparation and good hygiene can greatly decrease your chances of developing an intestinal infection. Most cases of intestinal E. coli infection can be treated at home. Symptoms generally resolve within a few days to a week.Symptoms of intestinal infection generally begin between one and five days after you have been infected with E. coli.
Symptoms can include:
• abdominal cramping
• sudden, severe watery diarrhea that may change to bloody stools
• loss of appetite/nausea
• vomiting (uncommon)
To diagnose illness caused by E. coli infection, doctor will send a sample of stool to a laboratory to test for the presence of E. coli bacteria. The bacteria may be cultured to confirm the diagnosis and identify specific toxins, such as those produced by E. coli O157:H7. For illness caused by E. coli, no current treatments can cure the infection, relieve symptoms or prevent complications.
For most people, treatment includes:
• Fluids to help prevent dehydration and fatigue
E coli is the leading cause of both community-acquired and nosocomial UTI. Up to 50% of females eventually experience at least one episode of UTI. E coli causes 12-50% of nosocomial infections and 4% of cases of diarrheal disease. E coli neonatal meningitis carries a mortality rate of 8%, and most survivors have neurological or developmental abnormalities.The mortality and morbidity associated with E coli bacteremia is the same as that for other aerobic gram-negative bacilli. E coli infections have no recognized racial predilection.