An E. coli eruption has occurred in 5 states of USA – Kentucky, Ohio, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia, affecting more than 70 people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of USA stated that it was not confirmed the bacteria source.
Eight people have been admitted to hospital – still no report of death is registered. All the people were infected with same symptoms of E. coli. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of USA has not been able to distinguish common food product, grocery store or even restaurant chains that were responsible for the outspread. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has been carrying on their investigation.
People became ill after consuming food or drinking water that has been contaminated by E. coli bacteria. The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center in USA, announced that ‘romaine lettuce, ‘ground beef’ and ‘unpasteurized dairy products’ were the three identified food products that were responsible for E. coli contamination.
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria generally live in the intestines of healthy people and also in animals. A greater number of the species of E. coli are safe for body mechanism. But, few of the species are harmful, like E. coli O157:H7 – that can cause acute abdominal cramps, diarrhea with blood and vomiting.
People may be exposed to harmful E. coli from contaminated food and water. Raw vegetables and undercooked ‘ground beef’ are significantly responsible for generating harmful E. coli. Generally adult people, who have strong immune system, may recover from infection with E. coli O157:H7 within a week or two. But, young children and aged people always have a greater risk of developing acute infection from that particular species of bacteria, which may lead to ‘Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome’.
‘Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome’ (HUS) is an acute condition in a patient that affects the blood and blood vessels. In that condition, platelets get clotted and destructed, blood cell count decreases below normal (anemic condition) and failure of kidneys start due to damage of tiny blood vessels inside kidneys. Brain and heart may also be affected due to damage of capillaries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of USA advised people to follow some general rules while eating and drinking like – (i) washing hands regularly, (ii) cooking meats to recommended temperatures, (iii) washing vegetables and fruits before consuming, (iv) avoiding cross-contamination while cooking, (v) not to prepare food and drink for others while sick etc.