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E. coli: Escherichia coli 0157:H7, E. coli 0157:H7 (cont.)

What are the symptoms of E. coli 0157:H7 infection?

The usual initial symptoms include

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • stomach cramps,
  • gas,
  • loss of appetite,
  • diarrhea,
  • bloody diarrhea,
  • mild fever (about 100 to 101 F or 37.7 to 38 C).

Severe infections can cause symptoms that are more serious such as

  • dehydration (low or no urine output)
  • renal failure (fluid retention, swelling, short of breath)
  • anemia (pale skin)
  • blood clotting problems (easy bruising)
  • septic shock (low blood pressure)
  • death.

However, the majority of affected individuals (usually children under 5 years of age and the elderly) do not develop severe infections, but develop symptoms between 3 and 5 days after ingesting contaminated food or fluid. Some develop the usual symptoms between 1 to 10 days.

The majority of affected individuals resolve the infection without antibiotics in about 5 to 7 days after the onset of symptoms. However, some people (about 10%) develop complications with severe infections (see complications section listed below) and require hospitalization.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/6/2015
Medical Editor:

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