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How is E. coli infection treated?

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The only way your doctor can know for sure if you have an E. coli infection is to send a sample of your stool to a lab to be analyzed.

Fortunately, the infection usually goes away on its own.

For some types of E.coli associated with diarrhea, such as the watery travelers’ diarrhea, antibiotics can shorten the length of time you have symptoms and might be used in moderately severe cases.

That said, if you have fever or bloody diarrhea or if your doctor suspects Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, you should avoid antibiotics. They can actually increase the production of Shiga toxin and worsen your symptoms.

It’s important to rest and get plenty of fluids to replace what your body is losing through vomiting or diarrhea.

Don’t take over-the-counter medications that fight diarrhea. You don’t want to slow down your digestive system, because that will delay your body’s shedding of the infection.

From: What is E. Coli? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

CDC: “E. coli.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Escherichia coli O157:H7,” “Escherichia coli.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease: “E. coli.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- E. coli.”

KidsHealth.org (Nemours Foundation): “E. coli.”

World Health Organization: “E. coli Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on December 21, 2016

SOURCES:

CDC: “E. coli.”

Johns Hopkins Health Library: “Escherichia coli O157:H7,” “Escherichia coli.”

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease: “E. coli.”

Mayo Clinic: “Diseases and Conditions -- E. coli.”

KidsHealth.org (Nemours Foundation): “E. coli.”

World Health Organization: “E. coli Fact Sheet.”

Reviewed by Sabrina Felson on December 21, 2016

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