We’ve all heard about this dangerous bacteria, but are we all aware of how big threat is for us? Do we pay attention to the early symptoms, or we don’t take nothing about it until it comes to a greater stage and it’s lot more difficult to be cured? Pay close attention to this article and all the information given, because even if you don’t suffer yet, it is more dangerous than you think and it’s all around you. Like almost all the other diseases, E. coli is lot more easier to be treaten if it’s discovered in the early stage.
Escherichia coli, or also known as E. coli s a bacterium that is commonly found in the gut of endotherms (warm blooded organisms). It was first discovered by the German pediatrician and bacteriologist, Theodor Escherich in 1885.
There are more than one types of E. coli. One of them is the serotype O157:H7 which can cause food poisoning in humans and can also become life-threatening. Other serotypes such as O104:H4, O121, O26, O103, O111, O145,and O104:H21 are less common, but they can also cause serious infection.
In cases with a healthy adult, a full recovery can be made within 5 to 7 days, but it’s not the same with children, elderly individuals and patients with weakend immune system, because potentially fatal HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome), a type of kidney failure can be developed.
Symptoms of E. coli infection
The sympotms may be experienced within three to four days after being exposed to the bacteria, but sometimes it takes longer period of time.
The person may experience the following symptoms:
- Abdominal pain – almost always, this is the first symptom severe (abdominal cramping that comes on suddenly)
- Diarrhea– it usually takes about few hours after the sudden abdominal pain, the patient typically has watery diarrhea. A day later there may be bright red bloody stools, caused by sores in the intestines.
- Vomiting – note that many patients who become ill may not vomit
- Fever– most people have it, but it’s not appealing to all infected people
- Fatigue– diarrhea causes loss of fluids and electrolytes (dehydration), making the patient feel sick and tired.
Ingesting contaminated water – E. colo outbreaks have been caused by contaminated municipal water supplies. Pay attention to lakes, swimming pools and private wells too, because they can be a source of infection too.
Ingesting contaminated food – ground beef, unpasteurized milk, or fresh vegetables. They can be a source because of th infected people who work in restaurants and do not wash their hands after going to the toilet. Be careful where you eat!
Having physical contact – person-toperson contact with an infected person is a big threat! It is very important to have good nad hygieneQ
Contact with animals – this may not only occur in farms, but also in petting zoos or country fairs.
High fiber diets – researchers from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences reported in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) (May 2013 issue) that people on high fiber diets have a higher risk of harboring E.coli bacteria nd suffering the consequences of O157:H7 infection and severe disease. The authors reported that “dietary choice affects Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 colonization and disease.”
There are no current treatments that cure E. coli O157:H7, but most of the doctors advice to:
- Drink fluids to help prevent dehydration and fatigue
Another important thing is to avoid taking an anti-diarrheal medication because this slows your digestive system down and prevent your body from getting rid of the toxins. Antibiotics generally aren’t recommended because they can increase the risk of serious complications.