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E. coli fact sheet!

Dec 09, 2008 - 1 comments

E. coli and Pregnancy
  
This sheet talks about the risks that exposure to E. coli can have during pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all
women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This information should not take the place
of medical care and advice from your health care provider.
  
What is E. coli?

E.  coli  (Escherichia  coli)  is  a  bacteria that lives in your colon (gut) and vagina. There
are many different types of E. coli bacteria and most  are  harmless  to  humans,  but  some  can
cause severe illness. Some ways people can get infected with E. coli are:
•  Eating contaminated raw and unwashed fruits and vegetables
•  Drinking  unpasteurized  milk  and  fruit juices
•  Eating raw or undercooked meat
•  Drinking or swimming in infected water
•  Coming  into  contact  with  feces  from infected farm or petting zoo animals
  
What are the symptoms of E. coli infection?

Most people will have stomach cramps, slight  fever,  and  diarrhea,  but  many  people have  no  symptoms.  In  severe  cases,  there  can be  bloody  diarrhea, which  requires  immediate medical  care.  Rarely  people  with  E.  coli infection can develop a  form of kidney  failure called  hemolytic  uremic  syndrome.  This condition  is  a serious  health  concern  and  can lead to kidney damage and death.
  
How  is  E.  coli  infection  diagnosed  and treated?

If  you  have  symptoms  of  E.  coli infection,  a  doctor  will  test  a  sample  of  your bowel movement  (feces). Most  healthy  people recover in a couple of days without the need for antibiotics or over-the-counter medications that stop diarrhea.
  
Does  E.  coli  infection  cause  birth  defects  or pregnancy complications?

There are no reports of E. coli infection causing  birth  defects  in  humans. Because diarrhea causes  the body  to  lose a  lot of fluids, pregnant women with  an E.  coli  infection can easily  become  dehydrated.  In  rare  cases, they may start to bleed heavily. There may be a risk for  miscarriage  or  premature  delivery  with severe E. coli infection.  If you  think you have an  E.  coli  infection,  you  should  see  a  doctor right  away  so  that  you  can  be  diagnosed  and treated if necessary.
  
If I have an E. coli  infection, can I pass  it  to my unborn baby?

Some  types of E. coli  that are normally present  in  the  vagina  can  cause a  baby to become  infected  during  delivery.  It  is  not known  if  E.  coli  from  contaminated  food  or water  can  cross  the  placenta  or  infect  a  baby during delivery.  
  
How  can  I  prevent  getting  an  E.  coli infection?

•  Always wash your hands with soap and water  after  using  or  cleaning  the bathroom,  changing  diapers,  handling dirty  towels  or  linens,  and  touching farm animals.
•  Always wash your hands after handling raw  meat  and  clean  any  surface touching raw meat with a disinfectant or bleach and water solution.
•  Cook  meat  thoroughly,  especially ground  beef,  to  160°F,  or  until  the juices run clear (no pink).
•  Wash  all  vegetables  and  fruits  before eating.
•  Drink only milk and juice that has been pasteurized.
  
I  have  an E.  coli  infection. Can  I  breastfeed my baby?

Yes. The E. coli bacteria do not get into the  breast  milk,  so  it  is  okay  to  continue breastfeeding.  There  are  important  immune factors in breast milk that can help protect your baby  from  infections.  Having  diarrhea  and
other symptoms of E. coli  infection may cause a decrease in your milk supply, so drink plenty of  fluids. Make sure  that you wash your hands before  you  hold  or  breastfeed  your  baby.  If your  baby  gets  diarrhea  or  other symptoms  of
E.  coli  infection,  contact  your  pediatrician immediately.

This fact sheet is from www.OTISpregnancy.org.
  

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by jkhs, May 05, 2009
Is E coli a common bacteria in urinary tract infections?  Do I have anything to worry about?  I had a urinary tract infection and then a few days later felt very sick like I had flu.  Then uncontrolable diaharrea for over four days so far a well as being weak and having slight upset stomach.  No fever that I know of but I tend to have a normal low temp so it's hard to tell.  Could I have this E coli infection in my bowel now?  Or could it have started there and went to the bladder?  

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