Download a print version the this document: E. Coli O157:H7 and also HUS truth Sheet (PDF)

What is it?

Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. Coli O157) is one of thousands of strains the the bacterium Escherichia coli. Many strains of E. Coli are harmless and live in the intestines of buzzpatterson.comy humans and animals. However, the O157 stress, overload produces a an effective toxin that can reason severe illness.

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What room the symptoms?

Symptoms the E. Coli O157 infection incorporate severe diarrhea (often bloody) and ab cramps. Most civilization infected through E. Coli O157 execute not have a fever or vomiting.

Symptoms usually begin 2 come 5 days after exposure come the bacteria. Sometimes human being infected through E. Coli O157 have no symptom at all, but can still happen the bacteria come others.

In some people, specifically in children under 5 years old and also the elderly, E. Coli O157 infections can cause a complication dubbed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). Around 2 – 7% of E. Coli O157 infections result in HUS. HUS occurs as soon as the E. Coli O157 toxin destroys red blood cells. HUS have the right to lead come kidney failure, neurologic damage, and also in part cases, death. Around 5 – 10% that HUS instances are fatal.

How lengthy does the last?

Symptoms normally last 5 to 10 days. People with mild symptoms usually recover on their own without treatment. Antibiotics space not useful for dealing with E. Coli O157 infections, and may even increase the likelihood of emerging HUS.Antidiarrheal agents must not be offered either.

How is the spread?

E. Coli O157 stays in the intestines of buzzpatterson.comy cattle and also other animals. E. Coli O157 deserve to be discovered in water, food, soil, or on surface that have been contaminated with animal or person feces. Household members and playmates of kids infected with E. Coli O157are at high danger of coming to be infected.

People can become infected by:

eating contaminated food, such as: undercooked hamburger raw develop items, such as sprouts and lettuce drinking unpasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Swallowing entertain water contaminated with E. Coli O157 (recreational water consists of lakes, streams, rivers, springs, ponds, swim pools, hot tubs, Jacuzzis, and also water park fountains). Contact with farm animals or pets. touching contaminated surfaces or objects and also then touching their mouth or placing a contaminated object right into their mouth. No washing hands after making use of the toilet or an altering diapers and then eating foods.

What should I do if I have actually symptoms?

contact your care provider. Note that antibiotic treatment is not beneficial for E. Coli O157 infections, and also may it is in harmful in some cases. Wash your hands often. Perform not send your son to daycare or preschool if he or she has diarrhea.

How have the right to I stop E. Coli infections?

Wash your hands v warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds After making use of the restroom After changing diapers After call with animals or their environment before eating Supervise young kids to be sure they effectively wash their hands. Wash your hands much more often as soon as someone in your household is sick. Cook all ground beef and hamburger products to at least 160°F. Do not eat hamburgers if they are pink in the middle. Protect against cross-contamination in the kitchen by washing hands, cut boards, countertops, knives, utensils, and also surfaces through warm, soapy water after taking care of raw foods. Separate raw meats, poultry, and seafood from vegetables and cooked foods. Wash and/or peel fruits and also vegetables before eating them. carry out not drink unpasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Clean and disinfect surfaces with household bleach automatically after vomiting or diarrheal accidents. Don’t drink untreated water from lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, or shallow wells

buzzpatterson.comy swim Tips:

perform not sloop down water or get water in your mouth when swimming. Take a shower before and also after swimming. Perform not swim when you have diarrhea. as soon as swimming, take your children on constant bathroom division – waiting to hear “I have to go” may mean the it’s already too late. Adjust diapers in an altering rooms, no poolside or ~ above the beach. To wash hands after changing diapers.

To report a suspected foodborne or waterborne illness speak to 1-877-FOOD-ILL.


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Protect rather if you space experiencing diarrhea! Anyone with a diarrheal illness should avoid swimming in publicly pools or lakes, sharing baths through others, and preparing food because that others. Young children (children in diapers) that room experiencing diarrhea should not be allowed to go swimming or attend daycare.

Contact us:

If you have questions or comments about this page, use our IDEPC Comment kind or contact 651-201-5414 for the MDH Infectious disease Epidemiology, Prevention and Control Division.