E. coli Awareness

What You Need to Know to Protect Your Kidneys

What is E. coli?

Escherichia coli is a bacteria normally found in the bowels of humans and animals. Some types of E. coli are harmless and others can make people sick, causing diarrhea (often bloody), urinary tract infections, respiratory problems and even kidney failure.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include diarrhea, vomiting, severe stomach cramps or abdominal tenderness, and mild fever may or may not exist. Symptoms of infection may begin to appear just hours after exposure and can last up to 10 days. They may be mild, or can be severe and life threatening.

How can E. coli hurt my kidneys?

As many as 15% of people with E. coli infection develop Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS).

  • One in two people who develop HUS will need dialysis during the acute stages of the illness.
  • 5-10% of people who develop HUS will have some
  • 3-5% of people who develop HUS will die.

How does E. coli spread?

  1. Eating Contaminated Food
  2. Improper Food Handling
  3. Drinking Contaminated Water

How can I prevent E. coli infection?

  • Cook ground meats to 71ºC or 160ºF.
  • Don’t cross-contaminate.
  • Be clean.
  • Store food properly.

For more information
download our brochure

E. coli Bacteria in Food and Water



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