E. coli Symptoms

E coli symptoms following infection will typically depend on the quantity and strain of the microorganism ingested. Sources of infection are typically contaminated food or water.

Less common sources of infection are direct contact with infected people or animals.

E. coli (Escherichia coli, E coli) is a bacteria normally found in the intestinal tract of humans. Abnormal elevations in their numbers, or the infection with a different strain of the bacteria will cause gastroenteritis.

The O157:H7 E coli strain is particularly dangerous. It is not responsive to current treatments.

Infection is typically marked by abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that can become bloody. This marks extensive damage to the lining of the intestine.

With the O157:H7 E coli strain, hemolytic-uremic syndrome can develop. This is a condition in which platelet and red blood cells greatly decrease in numbers. The kidneys cease functioning. It is lethal if not treated and corrected.

Common E coli bacteria infection symptoms are generally diarrhea, loss of appetite and nausea.

E coli symptoms:

  • diarrhea
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal cramps
  • abdominal pain
  • abdominal rumbling
  • dehydration
  • fever
  • aching muscles
  • fatigue/exhaustion

Prevention is easily achieved through good hygiene practices. Washing of hands often, especially following a bowel movement, is effective to kill the bacteria.

Also, the proper cooking or pasteurization of food and liquids is sufficient to kill the bacteria.

Diagnosis of E coli infection is typically simple from observation of the symptoms. Examination of a stool sample or from viewing of the colon with a camera may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment is typically by proper rehydration and observation.