E. Coli Symptoms, Complications, and Prevention

Acute symptoms for E. coli poisoning are:

  • abdominal cramping
  • sudden, severe watery diarrhea that may change to bloody stools
  • gas
  • nausea or loss of appetite
  • vomiting (rare)
  • fatigue
  • fever

Typically, symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection begin three or four days after exposure to the bacteria, but they might occur within 24 hours or not until more than a week after exposure.

Case-by-case, severity of symptoms will vary. Individuals most likely to have severe symptoms, and to develop complications, are:  

  • infants and young children
  • the elderly
  • individuals hospitalized
  • the immune-suppressed

What Long-Term Complications Should Be Watched For?

Unfortunately, complications occur with some frequency from an E. coli infection. Among children, more than 1 in 7 such infections cause a type of kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. HUS is most common in children under 5 years old and the elderly, but overall it occurs in about 6 percent of E. coli O157 patients. Some HUS patients make gradual recovery, others do not.

Symptoms of HUS to watch for are:

  • bloody diarrhea
  • abdominal pain
  • pale skin
  • fatigue
  • fever
  • unexplained bruises or bleeding
  • decreased urination

How Can I Prevent E. Coli Food Poisoning?

  • Avoid “high-risk” foods, chiefly non-pasteurized milk, cheese, or juice; alfalfa sprouts; and lightly cooked ground beef.
  • Using a food thermometer, make sure a ground beef patty is cooked on the inside to 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Before cooking food, wash hands after contact with any domestic animals or their living environment, or after diapering infants.

Contact us today by calling 877-928-9147 if you have any questions or would like a free consultation on your Oregon E. coli claim.

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