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    E. Coli Infection From Food or Water

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    Symptoms

    Children are more likely than adults to develop symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection. Most people with the infection will have:

    Some people who are infected with the bacteria do not notice any symptoms. They may spread the bacteria to others without knowing it.

    Recommended Related to Food Poisoning

    Understanding Food Poisoning -- Diagnosis and Treatment

    Most cases of food poisoning are mild, lasting from one to three days. Since many people do not seek medical care, their food poisoning is not diagnosed. Though your symptoms may sound suspicious, the only way to know for sure if you have food poisoning is to test the offending food or check the stool, blood, or vomit. Chemical or toxin food poisoning can usually be diagnosed by a description of symptoms and by testing food potentially responsible for the poisoning.

    Read the Understanding Food Poisoning -- Diagnosis and Treatment article > >

    There are many conditions with symptoms similar to those of E. coli intestinal infection. Diagnosis of E. coli infection can be complicated by the fact that most bacterial infections that cause diarrhea are accompanied by a high fever. If you have no fever or only a mild fever, your doctor may suspect that something other than bacteria is causing your symptoms.

    Bloody diarrhea is common in confirmed cases of E. coli intestinal infection, but the bacteria also should be considered a possible cause of non-bloody diarrhea.

    For more information on when to call a doctor about non-bloody diarrhea, see:

    Symptoms of E. coli infection usually end in about a week with no further problems. But severe blood and kidney problems may occur within 2 weeks after the onset of diarrhea. These problems can cause kidney failure and sometimes long-term disability or death in some children and older adults.

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    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: September 09, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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