E. Coli Infections

Also called: Escherichia coli

E. coli is the name of a type of bacteria that lives in your intestines. Most types of E. coli are harmless. However, some types can make you sick and cause diarrhea. One type causes travelers' diarrhea. The worst type of E. coli causes bloody diarrhea, and can sometimes cause kidney failure and even death. These problems are most likely to occur in children and in adults with weak immune systems.

You can get E. coli infections by eating foods containing the bacteria. Symptoms of infection include

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Watery or very bloody diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

To help avoid food poisoning and prevent infection, handle food safely. Cook meat well, wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them, and avoid unpasteurized milk and juices. You can also get the infection by swallowing water in a swimming pool contaminated with human waste.

Most cases of E. coli infection get better without treatment in 5 to 10 days.

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Symptoms of E. Coli Infections

The following features are indicative of E. Coli Infections:
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • severe abdominal cramps
  • watery or very bloody diarrhea
  • fatigue
  • fever
It is possible that E. Coli Infections shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of E. Coli Infections

The following are the most common causes of E. Coli Infections:
  • contaminated food
  • contaminated water

Risk Factors for E. Coli Infections

The following factors may increase the likelihood of E. Coli Infections:
  • young children and older adults
  • weakened immune systems
  • decreased stomach acid levels

Prevention of E. Coli Infections

Yes, it may be possible to prevent E. Coli Infections. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • handle food safely
  • cook meat well
  • wash fruits and vegetables before eating or cooking them
  • avoid unpasteurized milk and juices

Occurrence of E. Coli Infections

Number of Cases

The following are the number of E. Coli Infections cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Not common between 50K - 500K cases

Common Age Group

E. Coli Infections most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged between 5-10 years

Common Gender

E. Coli Infections can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of E. Coli Infections

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect E. Coli Infections:
  • Stool test: To test the presence of E. coli bacteria

Doctor for Diagnosis of E. Coli Infections

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of E. Coli Infections:
  • Infectious disease specialist

Complications of E. Coli Infections if untreated

Yes, E. Coli Infections causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if E. Coli Infections is left untreated:
  • kidney failure
  • hemolytic uremic syndrome

Procedures for Treatment of E. Coli Infections

The following procedures are used to treat E. Coli Infections:
  • Intravenous fluids insertion: Transfer of fluids intravenously relieves the dehydration and fatigue symptoms

Self-care for E. Coli Infections

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of E. Coli Infections:
  • Drink clear liquids: Drink plenty of clear liquids and avoid caffeine and alcohol use
  • Eat foods gradually: Stick to low-fiber foods at first
  • Avoid certain foods: Avoid use of dairy products, fatty foods, high-fiber foods or highly seasoned foods

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of E. Coli Infections

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of E. Coli Infections:
  • Use chinese herbs: Chinese herbs like Tong Cao, Hua Shi, Chi Shao, Hui Xiang, etc shows antibacterial activity
  • Try using probiotics: Live organisms prevent and treat urinary tract infections

Time for Treatment of E. Coli Infections

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for E. Coli Infections to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 6 months - 1 year

Is E. Coli Infections Infectious?

Yes, E. Coli Infections is known to be infectious. It can spread across people via the following means:
  • spread through hand contact

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for E. Coli Infections.
Bacterial Infections
Food Safety
Foodborne Illness

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