Three confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 in Fayette County, Ohio, may be linked to a larger, multi-state outbreak of the bacterial infection.
E. coli illnesses are not pretty. And although they are preventable, most E. coli infections develop after a person ingests food contaminated with this deadly pathogen.”
E. coli O157:H7 attaches itself to the inside surface of the large intestine and causes inflammation of the intestinal wall. Symptoms of E. coli infection typically appear within 2-10 days, and include severe stomach cramping, followed by bloody diarrhea,. E. coli symptoms sometimes include vomiting. Children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems are most at risk for developing E. coli infection and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, a complication of E. coli infection that destroys kidneys.
E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks have been traced to contaminated foods such as ground beef, unpasteurized milk and juices, and fresh fruits and vegetables. The bacterium lives in the intestines of healthy cattle, and is spread through contamination of food or water sources with animal feces.