Humans and animals develop E Coli infections when their intestines become infected. Environmentally and in food, it is also found. Nevertheless, E Coli can cause severe illnesses when certain types (strains) are present. The E Coli strains listed above can be contracted by swallowing foods or water containing them. Stools from humans and animals infected with a particular disease, such as E. coli, can contaminate food or water. E. coli outbreaks have been linked to meat products (especially ground beef), sprouts, lettuce, and salami, as well as unpasteurized milk and juice. It is possible for children to become infected with E Coli when livestock are present near food stands. A County Fair, for example, or a Petting Zoo.
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What are the common symptoms of E Coli infection in children?
After infection, you may experience the following symptoms:
Even if your child does not show any symptoms, he or she may be infected.
What is the diagnostic method for E Coli infection in children?
Your child will be examined by his or her healthcare provider. E Coli can be detected by testing stool samples. One or more stool samples may be required.
What is the treatment for E Coli infection in children?
- Five to ten days is usually enough time for the illness to pass.
- When needed, antibiotics may be prescribed. Medical treatment is not always required for the majority of children. The use of antibiotics may even exacerbate your child’s condition in some cases. When your child is given antibiotics, be sure he or she finishes all of the medication.
- Make sure your child’s doctor advises him or her to take antidiarrheal medicines. If it’s not treated, it can prolong the illness and make the body less productive at fighting E Coli.
- Water or an electrolyte solution for children should be available to your child all the time. Dehydration (fluid loss) can be prevented by doing so.
- A few weeks after your child’s symptoms have gone away, the bacteria may still clear from their bodies.
How and when to consult your child’s healthcare provider
If your child is experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact your child’s healthcare provider.
- He is suffering from severe diarrhea, which lasts for more than two days.
- Demonstrates signs of dehydration (dark urine, excessive thirst, dry mouth, or dizziness) or is experiencing symptoms of dehydration.
- Blood in the stool.
Note: Children (aged 5 and younger) are most susceptible to developing hemolytic uremic syndrome in response to E Coli infections. As a result, the kidneys fail. The condition destroys red and platelet cells. When you observe any of the following symptoms in your child, please take him or her to the emergency room as soon as possible.
- Decreased urination
- Foot, hand, or face swelling (caused by a buildup of fluid)
- Doesn’t respond, seems tired, or doesn’t move very fast
- Crying and unable to be consoled
- A fever over 100.4°F (38°C), as well as additional symptoms of concern
Is it possible to prevent E Coli infection?
How you can prevent the transmission of E Coli infection to your child:
- While changing diapers, make sure the bottom of your child is clean. Be sure to wash your hands afterward. Children should also be treated similarly.
- If you are not sure if your health care provider has cleared your child, keep them home.
Here are a few things you can do in the future to reduce the risk of getting infected with E Coli:
- Rub your hands together (for 20 seconds at a time) after washing with soap and warm water. Ensure that you wash your hands before doing any of the following: preparing meals, eating food, treating your nose, sneezing, coughing, and handling pets and their waste. Do the same for your child.
- Food thermometers should be used when cooking. Cook poultry to a minimum temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (73.8 degrees Celsius). The internal temperature of pork, beef and lamb cuts should reach a minimum of 145°F (62.7°C). Ensure that ground meat reaches a temperature of at least 160 degrees F (71.1 degrees C).
- It is best to wash and peel fruits and vegetables before eating them.
- Do not drink anything other than pasteurized milk, juices, coffee, and cider.
- Cleaning cutting boards and utensils with hot water and soap is recommended after every use. Bleach or disinfectant can be used to clean kitchen counters.
- Drinking water from a pool, lake, stream or river is not recommended. Unless you know the water is safe, don’t drink or cook with it while camping or while traveling abroad. You should boil water for at least one minute(s) before use. A portable water filter designed specifically to remove bacteria can be used as well. Water purification tablets are also effective at killing bacteria in water.
- Having the water tested for bacteria, such as E. coli, once a year is important if you drink well water.
- Be sure to bring plenty of hand sanitizer with you when you attend petting zoos or county fairs. Please wash your hands or use the hand sanitizer often both you and your child. After handling animals and foods, be sure to wash your hands.
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