E.Coli or Escherichia coli is a type of bacteria that lives in the digestive tract of human beings and almost everyone has got it in their intestines. While most of the e.coli bacteria are harmless, a few of them cause serious health issues and may severely affect the urinary system and digestive system.
Which type of E.Coli causes Intestinal Infection?
E.Coli 157:H7 is a strain of bacteria that causes intestinal infection and lead to diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever. Those with less immunity have greater chances of catching the infection and aged people, infants, and pregnant women are at risk of the disease.
Causes of E. Coli Gut Infection:
E. Coli infection in the digestive tract is caused by contaminated food or water. It can also infect meat during processing and if such meat is eaten without proper cooking, it spreads the infection. Consuming raw milk or dairy products that are not labeled as pasteurized may communicate the infection. Human or animal feces contaminated with E. Coli, if passes into public water bodies may transmit the bacteria with swallowing of water or washing of hands in such water.
Symptoms of intestinal infection due to E. Coli
Symptoms of E. Coli stomach infection are sometimes noticeable while many times they are dormant and become prominent only at a later stage. Usually, the symptoms appear after 3 to 4 days of contact with E. Coli and children show the symptoms more prominently than the adults. The major symptoms include:
- Stomach cramps
- Bloody diarrhea
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness and dehydration
How to prevent E. Coli intestinal infection?
Cleanliness and hygiene are the best ways to prevent E. Coli infection. A few things you can do to stay away from such infections are listed below:
- Always cook the vegetables properly and cook meat at high boiling temperature.
- Wash fruits and vegetables with hot water and prefer peeling the skin before eating.
- Start cooking only after washing your hands with soapy water.
- Use only pasteurized products and treated drinking water.
- After toilet, do not forget to wash your hands with soap water.
- Keep washing your hands frequently and after changing diapers, must wash your hands.
When you need a doctor?
Gastrointestinal infection leads to stomach pain and dehydration which can be serious and life-threatening. The persistent problem can also cause other medical conditions that may affect other organs of the body. So, it is advisable to consult a gastroenterologist if you witness any of the below symptoms:
- Diarrhea that continues for more than two days for children and four days for adults
- Continued fever with diarrhea
- Bloody stools and consistent abdominal pain
- Continued vomiting for more than 12 hours
If you witness any of these symptoms in infants, then immediate medical attention is required and you should rush to a pediatrician without wasting any second.
Every disease has got a cure only if the treatment starts on time. In this digital world, when access to healthcare is possible online, anyone should get treated and be healthy. If you are doubtful about having an E.coli infection, find your nearest gastroenterologist and go for a consultation to get treated.