What is E. coli?


Quick Answer

E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals, states Mayo Clinic. Exposure to E. coli can cause a brief bout of diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, vomiting and extreme abdominal cramps.

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Full Answer

Raw vegetables, contaminated water and undercooked meat can expose an individual to E. coli, explains Mayo Clinic. Adults typically recover from an E. coli infection within a week, but older adults and young children can develop a life-threatening form of kidney failure. Rest and fluids treat symptoms of E. coli, and doctors use blood transfusions, IV fluids and kidney dialysis to treat serious E. coli infections.

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