They are also known as E. Coli, a bacterium commonly found in the intestines of endotherms (warm-blooded organisms).
There are several types of E. coli as part of the normal flora of the human intestine, which has many beneficial functions, such as the production of vitamin K2. They also prevent pathogens, pathogenic bacteria, from establishing themselves in the intestine.
Most strains of E. coli do not represent harm to human health, except for serotype O157: H7, which can cause food poisoning in humans and can be life-threatening.
Other less common serotypes, such as O104: H4, O121, O26, O103, O111, O145, O104, and: H21, can also cause serious infections.
The German pediatrician and bacteriologist Theodor Escherich discovered the bacterium in 1885, hence its name. E. coli is now classified as part of the Enterobacteriaceae family of gamma-Proteobacteria.
A healthy adult will usually fully recover from E. coli within 5 to 7 days. However, young children, the elderly, and patients with potentially fatal weak immune systems may develop (hemolytic uraemic syndrome), a type of kidney failure.
Signs and symptoms
- The patient usually experiences symptoms three or four days after being exposed to the bacteria; however, in some cases, they may appear within a day or a week later.
- Typically, the first symptom is severe abdominal pain that appears suddenly.
- Diarrhea – a couple of hours after the sudden abdominal pain, the patient usually has watery diarrhea.
- A day later, there may be blood in the stools bright red, caused by ulcers in the intestines.
- Vomiting – keep in mind that many patients who get sick can not vomit
- Keep in mind that many infected people may not have a fever
- Fatigue – diarrhea causes loss of fluids and electrolytes (dehydration), making the patient feel sick and tired
- A considerable number of infected people do not have noticeable symptoms. However, they can inadvertently spread the infection to others.
You will, most of the time, recover from the most common types of E. coli infection in a couple of days. The goal of treatment is to make you feel better and avoid dehydration. Getting enough fluids and learning what to eat will help keep you or your child comfortable.
What you should do:
- Manage diarrhea
- Control of nausea and vomiting
- Resting enough
- You can drink oral rehydration to replace fluids and minerals lost by vomiting and diarrhea.
- You can also make your rehydration drink by dissolving ½ teaspoon of salt and baking soda and four tablespoons of sugar in 4 ¼ cups (1 liter) of water.
- If you have diarrhea or vomiting and can not drink or keep enough fluids in your body, you may need intravenous (IV) fluids. This requires going to a health care entity or the emergency room.
- Never change or stop; buy medicines without first talking to your doctor.