Escherichia coli Infection
( E. coli Infection, Escherichia coli O157:H7)
by Krisha McCoy, MS
Escherichia coli ( E. coli) infection is caused by a bacteria. It is the leading cause of bloody diarrhea. This type of infection may need medical attention. Contact your doctor if you think you may have it.
This infection is caused by some types of the E. coli bacterium. Most E. coli infections are caused by:
Risk Factors TOP
Factors that increase your chance of developing E. coli infection include:
Symptoms of E. coli infection include:
Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done. Your waste material may be tested. This can be done with a stool culture.
Talk with your doctor about the best plan for you. Treatment options include:
Fluid Replacement and Monitoring
Most people will get better in 5-10 days. They rarely need a specific treatment. Avoid medicine that stops diarrhea. Drink plenty of water and fluids. Fluids through an IV line may be needed in cases of severe dehydration.
Treatment for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
If you are diagnosed with an E. coli infection, follow your doctor's instructions.
To help prevent E. coli infection:
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
Public Health Agency of Canada
EColi infection. American Academy of Family Physicians website. Available at: http://familydocto... . Updated February 2011. Accessed March 20, 2013.
E. coli (Escherichia coli) . Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ . Accessed March 20, 2013.
Frequently asked questions about Escherichia Coli infection. New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services website. Available at: http://www.nj.gov/health/cd/documents/factsheets/f_ecoli.pdf . Accessed March 20, 2013.
Last reviewed December 2013 by Peter Lucas, MD
Last Updated: 1/13/2014