Symptoms Of E. coli Infection In Humans: Causes And Treatment

Coli or Escherichia coli are bacteria that live in the colon of healthy people. Most varieties of the bacteria are not dangerous or may just trigger moderately short spells of diarrhea. But a few vicious strains cause severe abdominal pain, vomiting and bloody diarrhea.

You may contact the nasty E. coli strain via contaminated food or water; more so, through raw fruits and vegetables and under-cooked ground beef.

Healthy adults pull through from the infection within 7 days, however, children and old individuals have a greater risk of developing life-threatening complications.

Symptoms of E. coli infection commence about 3 to 5 days after being exposed to the bacteria. The features include:

  • Pain in the abdomen.
  • Diarrhea, which may be bloody occasionally.
  • Nausea and vomiting.

What Are The Causes Of E. coli Infection?

Potential sources of exposure to vicious E. Coli include contaminated food or water and person to person contact.

Contaminated food:

The commonest way of acquiring E. coli infection is through the consumption of contaminated food.

  • Ground beef: When cattle are butchered and processed, the E. coli bacteria in their intestines can get on the meat.
  • Unpasteurized milk: The E. coli bacteria present on the cow’s udder or on the milking apparatus may get into the raw milk.
  • Raw fruits and vegetables: Runoff from farms infects the fields where fresh produce is grown. Certain vegetables, – lettuce and spinach, in particular, are more susceptible to this type of contamination.

Contaminated water:

  • Human and animal feces pollute ground and surface water. Public water systems make use of chlorine, UV light or ozone to get rid of the E. coli, nonetheless, outbreaks have been associated to contaminated water supply. Some have been infected after swimming in pools that are contaminated with feces as well.

Personal contact:

  • Coli bacteria travel quickly from individual to individual, particularly when infected people do not wash hands well. Episodes are also known to occur amongst children who visit petting zoos and animal farms.

Natural Treatment For E. coli Infection

For disorders caused by E. coli, there’s no treatment to cure the infection, allay the symptoms or stave off the complications. By and large, your health care provider will recommend the following to you:

  • Rest: Helps you recover faster from the symptoms of the infection.
  • Fluids: Loads of fluids and liquids are necessary in order to prevent dehydration and exhaustion.
  • Do not take an anti-diarrhea drug; this tends to slow down your GI tract functioning, thus preventing your body from eliminating the bacteria and its toxins.
  • Antibiotics are also not advised, given that, they can increase your risk of developing serious complications.
  • Drink plenty of clear liquids – water, sodas, soups, broths, juices and herbal teas. Remember to steer clear of apple and pear juices, caffeine, and alcohol.
  • Gradually, start adding foods to your daily regimen. Once you start feeling better, have a low-fiber diet.
  • Avoid fatty foods, dairy products, high-fiber foods and highly seasoned foods; these can make your symptoms worse.

In case you have a serious infection which has resulted in hemolytic uremic syndrome, you need to be hospitalized promptly and administered supportive care – intravenous fluids, blood transfusion and kidney dialysis.