How Is E Coli Spread ?
No particular statistic is available for E. coli O157:H7. However in a year approximately 20,000 cases usually occur in the United States. Additionally, this is also most commonly found in Canada and is being ever more recognized in Europe, South Africa, southern regions of South America, Australia and Japan. Hence we may consider it as a global problem.
Most individuals infected with E. coli develop severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, while few of them experience very less or no symptoms. There may be little or no fever and the infected person may think because of something else there is bleeding in the bowel and hence, the infection may go undetected. The diarrhea can be very dangerous in this context.
In some cases, particularly in children below 5 years of age and the elderly people, the contamination may lead to destruction of RBCs (hemolytic anemia) and cause acute kidney failure (also referred to as uremia). This complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), can even lead to stroke, seizures and fatality.
The number of bacteria that result in the disease is still not known, but a very little quantity is expected to affect this. The disease can also occur from drinking raw and unpasteurized milk, or drinking or swimming in contaminated water. The bacterium is readily lives in the feces of infected individuals, and it can spread to an uninfected person if the infected person does not follow proper hygiene practices. This mainly may occur among younger children who are not well conversant with toilet habits. Bacteria are generally cleared from the stools within one week. However, in young children; this may continue to be in the stool for few more weeks.
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