What is E. coli infection?
What is E. coli infection?
E. coli bacteria are normally present in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. Many types of E. coli are not harmful or cause diarrhea at most for a short period of time. But some dangerous E. coli can cause problems like stomach cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
E. coli infection can be caused by contaminated water or food. Infection can occur, especially through eating raw vegetables or undercooked meat. A healthy person recovers from E. coli infection within a week, but small children and the elderly are at greater risk of a life-threatening condition called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, in which the kidneys eventually stop functioning.
Risk of E-coli :
Not everyone who ingests E. coli gets an E. coli infection. So, needless to say, some people are more prone to infection than others. These include:
People who frequently travel to places or countries where availability of clean drinking water and good sanitation is an issue.
Newborns and young children (under 7 years of age)
elderly, with or without major illness
People with weakened immune systems, such as people with HIV, diabetes, cancer, and pregnant women
Eating certain foods: undercooked meat dishes; unpasteurized milk, unpasteurized fruit juice or apple-cider; Soft cheese made from raw milk.
Time of year: For no apparent reason, the risk of E. coli infection increases during the monsoon months. The reason for this could be the flow of more polluted water into water bodies.
The diagnosis is very simple. A sample of stool is sent to the laboratory to confirm or rule out the presence of E. coli and, if confirmed, the extent of the problem and the type of E. coli. A stool culture will also confirm the presence of any toxins produced by Shiga or E. coli strains.
Symptoms of e- coli :
- Symptoms of E. coli start appearing 3-4 days after being affected by the bacteria. However, you may fall ill within a day of infection or it may take more than a week. Its signs and symptoms are as follows:
- Diarrhea, which can range from mild to severe, including blood in the stool
- Abdominal pain, abdominal cramps or tenderness
- Some people may also experience nausea and vomiting
E. coli Infection Causes :
Young children and the elderly are at greater risk of serious illness caused by E. coli.
Some food items :
There is a risk of infection from undercooked meat, raw milk, apple juice or apple cider vinegar, or soft cheeses made from raw milk.
Decrease in the amount of acid in the stomach :
Stomach acid provides some protection against E. coli. If you are taking acid reducing medicines then the risk of infection may be higher.
Complications of E. coli infection –
Most adults recover from E. coli infection within a week. However, children and the elderly may have kidney problems, such as kidney failure.