To reduce your chance of being exposed to E. coli, avoid swallowing water from lakes or pools, wash your hands often, avoid risky foods, and watch out for cross-contamination. Accessed Aug. 27, 2020. E. coli Infection In The Body E. coli normally colonize the intestines in both humans and animals, where they assist with digesting of foods. Some people may have a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C). Be especially careful to get dirt off leafy. ", "Most commonly, we hear about it in raw or undercooked hamburger meat.". Advertising revenue supports our not-for-profit mission. Diarrhea. All rights reserved. According to the National Kidney Foundation, 80 to 90 percent of UTIs are caused by a bacteria called Escherichia coli (E. coli). Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses. A urinary tract infection (UTI) is an infection in any part of your urinary system — your kidneys, ureters, bladder and urethra. E. coli are a large and diverse group of bacteria. What is E. coli? E. coli bacteria can easily travel from person to person, especially when infected adults and children don't wash their hands properly. Goldman L, et al., eds. But some strains can cause diarrhea if you eat contaminated food or drink fouled water. © 2005 - 2019 WebMD LLC. Cook hamburgers until they’re 160 F inside. In rarer cases, virulent strains are also responsible for bowel necrosis (tissue death) and perforation without progressing to hemolytic-uremic syndrome, peritonitis, mastitis, sepsis, an… Most types of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few particularly nasty strains, such as E. coli O157:H7, can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.You may be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef. The symptoms are worse in children and older people, and especially in people who have another illness. E. coli refers to a wide range of bacteria that can cause various diseases, including pneumonia, urinary tract infections, and diarrhea. But some people have a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which affects the kidneys. Antimicrobial resistant isolates, especially tho… © 1998-2020 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Symptoms of E. coli O157 infection. Diarrhea: Frequent (up to 10 times per day) loose stools, which may begin as watery and then turn into bright red blood. It is the leading cause of acute kidney failure in children. These bacteria are a leading cause of bloody diarrhea. But some people are more likely to develop problems than are others. Diarrhea. It causes abdominal cramps, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. However, some strains are a cause of common infections such as urine infections and gut infections (gastroenteritis). It can be differentiated from other E. coli by the production of a potent toxin that damages the lining of the intestinal wall causing bloody diarrhea. E. coli infection is more common during the summer months and in northern states. In most cases, this bacteria is harmless. Cook this incorrectly, and you could end up with a case of E. coli. How is an E. coli infection treated?. There are a number of different types of E. coli and while the majority are harmless some can cause serious food poisoning and serious infection. They may also be isolates from other sites including the respiratory tract, cerebrospinal fluid and various types of abscesses. E. coli is a type of bacteria which can cause illnesses that range from minor to severe. The E. coli O157:H7 strain belongs to a group of E. coli that produces a powerful toxin that damages the lining of the small intestine. In fact, E. coli is responsible for more than 85 percent of all urinary tract infections, according to research published in March 2012 in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases.