E Coli is found in people's intestines and can live or get passed to other people.
There are many different strains of this bacterium. Not all strains are harmful, but some can cause diarrhea, vomiting, kidney failure, and death. Many strains of E Coli are not harmful, and in fact, many strains of E Coli are good for human bodies. They help with digestion and produce vitamins such as Vitamin K and B-12. The majority of infections from E Coli are the result of food poisoning. The E Coli bacteria can be spread via food that gets contaminated with fecal matter. This is most commonly seen with undercooked or raw foods such as spinach, milk, and ground beef or poultry.
How Can One Get E Coli Infections?
There are many ways to get E coli infections. Most people are unaware of the dangers of unpasteurized milk. But many other countries, such as Mexico, still have an old-fashioned method of preserving their milk. Instead of heating it to a high temperature to eliminate bacteria and germs, they only heat it slightly. If one drinks this unpasteurized milk, they can be ingesting raw fecal matter containing bacteria such as E Coli. It can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
This fecal matter is the main issue in many contaminated foods. It’s one of the reasons that food like lettuce is so commonly found to have E Coli. Fecal matter from animals can contaminate the water of a farm or area, and then that water is used on the plants. The plants maintain the fecal matter and then people get sick when they eat it. The same can be said for meat that has been contaminated.
Signs and Symptoms of E Coli Infections
There are many common symptoms of E Coli, and these symptoms depend on the strain of E Coli a person is infected with. The most common symptoms include:
- Diarrhea - This is common, especially for young children.
- Nausea - Having nausea is feeling like one has an upset stomach and is going to vomit. Many people vomit from E Coli.
- Abdominal pains - Having abdominal pains means that there is something wrong with a person's abdomen. It may feel like they are having heartburn or cramps.
- Fever - Having a fever means that they have an elevated temperature in their body.
- Blood in the stool - If one starts having blood in their stool, this means that they have a serious infection. Call a doctor if they see red or black specks in their stool. If they see these specks after they eat, call a doctor immediately. The blood passes through the intestines very quickly and is easier to see than digest.
How is an E. coli infection treated?
If an individual is diagnosed with E Coli, their doctor will prescribe antibiotics to eliminate the bacteria. Typically, the antibiotics will be injected into their muscle and not taken in pill form. Most people start to feel better after 48 hours of taking the antibiotic.
Drinking water is the best thing one can do to help themselves feel better. It is also an effortless thing to do. If they have diarrhea, try drinking more water. E Coli bacteria thrive in undercooked foods, so try not to eat those foods first. one should also try to avoid raw spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens. They do not have to be cooked for an individual to get infected by them. Also, try to avoid unpasteurized milk.
The last way to get rid of an E Coli infection is through lifestyle choices. Lifestyle choices can include: resting and relaxing, getting a lot of sleep, exercising, and staying hydrated. One must follow these lifestyle guidelines to help their body feel better and recover faster.