The symptoms of encephalitis are usually sudden and severe.
Drowsiness, lethargy, and possibly coma
Personality changes, irritability, or emotional outbursts
Weakness in one or more areas of the body
Bulging soft spots in infants
Seek medical attention immediately if you or someone else has any of these symptoms.
Doctors who suspect E. coli infection will order a type of stool culture that detects strains of E. coli. Because the bacteria can leave the body in only a few days, the sample should be obtained as soon as possible after symptoms appear.
Other tests are sometimes used when the diagnosis is unclear, but these are not yet widely available.
If a child or older adult is diagnosed with E. coli infection, he or she may be watched for development of severe blood or kidney problems. Monitoring requires blood and urine tests to measure essential elements of blood and body fluids.