What is E. coli ?
E. coli stands for Escherichia coli , the bacteria that causes severe cramps and diarrhea. E. coli is a major cause of bloody diarrhea. Symptoms are worse in children and the elderly, especially in people who have another illnesses. Infection by E. coli is most common during the summer months, in the northern states.
What are the symptoms of infection with E. coli?
Symptoms start at about 7 days after transmission of the germ. The first sign is severe abdominal cramps that start all of a sudden. After a few hours, watery diarrhea starts. Diarrhea causes the body to lose fluids and electrolytes (dehydration). This makes you sick and tired. The watery diarrhea lasts about a day. Then, the diarrhea becomes bloody and is bright red. The infection causes sores in the intestines, so the stools become bloody. Bloody diarrhea lasts 2 to 5 days.
If you have this infection, you may have a mild fever or no fever at all. You may also have nausea or vomiting. If any of these symptoms like bloody watery diarrhea, cramps, fever, nausea or vomiting, try to contact your doctor immediately.
How I can get an infection by E. coli?
Most infections E. coli from:
- Eating undercooked beef.
- Drinking contaminated water.
- Drinking unpasteurized (raw).
- Working with cattle.
- Eating food contaminated with animal feces (such as vegetables).
Meat can become contaminated with the germ during butchered. When grinding the meat, the germs of E. coli are mixed throughout the meat.
The most common form of this infection is by eating contaminated food. You can get the seeds of E. coli if not using high heat to cook the meat or if you do not cook long enough. When you eat undercooked beef, the germs enter the stomach and intestines.
How is the infection treated?
There is no special treatment, but drinking lots of water and paying attention to the emergence of complications can reduce the risk of having this. Do not take drugs to stop the diarrhea, unless your doctor tells you to. These drugs prevent the intestines to remove the seeds of E. coli . If you have severe dehydration, you may need to go to hospital to be administered IV fluid.