Escherichia coli, fondly referred to as E. coli, is a type of bacteria that lives in the intestines of people and animals. E. coli is usually harmless to humans, however, some strains of the E. coli bacteria can cause serious health issues if ingested. In fact, E. coli infection is one of the leading causes of foodborne illness worldwide. Here is everything you need to know about E. coli infection and health.
What Causes E. coli Infection?
Typically, an E. coli infection is caused by consuming contaminated food or coming into contact with an infected person or animal. Common sources of E. coli contamination include raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk, undercooked meat and unpasteurized juices.
Symptoms of E. coli Infection
The most common symptoms of E. coli infection include:
- abdominal cramps
These symptoms may last up to a week. If you experience these symptoms, you should seek medical help.
Treating E. coli Infection
Treatment of E. coli infection is primarily focused on managing the symptoms. Severe cases may require extra fluids, antibiotics, and hospitalization. Most people can recover from E. coli infection with home remedies such as plenty of rest and fluids.
Preventing E. coli Infection
The best way to prevent E. coli infection is to reduce your risk of coming into contact with bacteria that causes the illness. Here are some tips on how to do that:
- Wash hands and prepare food carefully.
- Keep raw meats away from other food.
- Cook meats to safe internal temperatures.
- Avoid unpasteurized dairy.
- Avoid drinking untreated surface water.
By following these simple tips and taking proper precautions, you can reduce your risk of contracting an E. coli infection.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of E. coli Infection?
Most people make a full recovery from E. coli, but some may experience long-term health effects including chronic health problems such as kidney damage or failure, reflux, and irritable bowel syndrome.
E. coli Infection – Take the Necessary Precautions
E. coli infection can be serious and cause long-term health problems, so it is important to take the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the bacteria. Be sure to wash your hands often, prepare food carefully, cook meats to internal temperatures, and avoid unpasteurized dairy products to reduce your risk of infection. If you think you may have contracted an E. coli infection, be sure to seek medical attention right away.
Keywords: E. coli, bacteria, infection, symptoms, foodborne illness, health, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, prevention, long-term health effects, kidney damage.