What are the symptoms of illness associated with E. coli O157:H7?
A. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people generally become ill from E. coli O157:H7 two to eight days (average of 3-4) after being exposed to the bacteria. Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection often causes severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Sometimes the infection causes non-bloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Usually little or no fever is present, and the illness resolves in 5 to 10 days. In some persons, particularly children under 5 years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail. About 8% of persons whose diarrheal illness is severe enough that they seek medical care develop this complication. In the United States , HUS is the principal cause of acute kidney failure in children, and most cases of HUS are caused by E. coli O157:H7. Infection with E. coli O157:H7 is diagnosed by detecting the bacterium in the stool. Q. Not