Your doctor may suspect that you have an
E. coli infection after he or she asks you questions and
does an exam. Your stool will probably be tested for E. coli.
infection usually goes away on its own. Your main treatment is to make yourself
comfortable and drink sips of water. Diarrhea causes the body to lose more
water than usual. This can lead to
dehydration, which is especially dangerous for babies
and older adults. Taking frequent, small sips of water will help prevent
If you have bloody diarrhea that may be from an
E. coli infection, do not take diarrhea medicine or
antibiotics. These medicines can slow down the digestion process, allowing more
time for your body to absorb the poisons made by the E. coli. Call your doctor instead.
In some people,
E. coli infection causes serious problems with the blood
and kidneys. These people may need
blood transfusions or
dialysis. Dialysis is a treatment that helps filter
waste products from the blood when the kidneys aren't working right.
Food and water that are infected with E. coli germs look and smell normal. But there are some things
you can do to prevent infection:
- Cook ground
beef to at least 160°F (71°C).
- In the kitchen, wash your hands
with hot, soapy water often, especially after you touch raw meat.
Wash any tools or kitchen surfaces that have touched raw meat.
only pasteurized milk, dairy, and juice products.
- Use only
treated, or chlorinated, drinking water.
- When you travel to
countries that may have unsafe drinking water, don't use ice or drink tap
water. Avoid raw fruits and vegetables, except those with skin that you peel
- Wash your hands often, and always wash them after you
use the bathroom or change diapers.