For illness caused by E. coli, no current treatments can cure the infection, relieve symptoms or prevent complications. For most people, treatment includes:
- Fluids to help prevent dehydration and fatigue
Avoid taking an anti-diarrheal medication — this slows your digestive system down, preventing your body from getting rid of the toxins. Antibiotics generally aren't recommended because they can increase the risk of serious complications.
If you have a serious E. coli infection that has caused hemolytic uremic syndrome, you'll be hospitalized and given supportive care, including IV fluids, blood transfusions and kidney dialysis.
Aug. 01, 2014
- E. coli (Escherichia coli). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- Longo DL, et al. Harrison's Online. 18th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2012. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=4. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- Calderwood SB. Microbiology, pathogenesis, epidemiology and prevention of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). http://www.uptodate.com/home/. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- Ryan KJ, et al., eds. Sherris Medical Microbiology. 5th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://accessmedicine.mhmedical.com/content.aspx?bookid=375&Sectionid=40299161. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- Basic information about E. coli O157:H7 in drinking water. Environmental Protection Agency. http://water.epa.gov/drink/contaminants/basicinformation/ecoli.cfm. Accessed June10, 2014.
- Bain R, et al. Global assessment of exposure to faecal contamination through drinking water based on a systematic review. Tropical Medicine and International Health. In press. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- Calderwood SB. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and treatment of enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed June 10, 2014.
- What I need to know about diarrhea. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/diarrhea_ez/index.aspx. Accessed June 10, 2014.
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