E-Coli

E-Coli

  • A bacterial infection caused by one of many strains of the bacterium Escherichia Coli.
  • Most strains of E-Coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans.
  • There are different strains of E-Coli around the world, so when you travel abroad you can get re-colonised by the local strain, causing stomach upset.
  • The 0157 strain of E-Coli produces a powerful toxin and can cause severe illness.
  • Incubation period is between 1 - 6 days.
  • Symptoms include severe bloody diarrhoea, vomiting, abdominal pain and flu-like symptoms.
  • Can lead to long term symptoms including irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome, kidney damage, paralysis and blindness. In extreme cases it can be fatal.
  • Transmitted via the faecal - oral route, usually due to poor hygiene standards. For example, if food such as beef or beef products has not been cooked properly, or by drinking unpasteurised milk.