The primary treatment for illness from E. coli is rest and fluids. The Mayo Clinic states that most illnesses caused by E. coli are self-limiting and do not require treatment. However, serious E. coli infections can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, which does require supportive care in a hospital.
The majority of people who contract E. coli need only rest and fluids for their treatment. Avoid taking antidiarrheal medication so that the bacteria is able to leave the body; taking antidiarrheal medication slows down a patient's digestive system and prolongs the time the bacteria is in his body. Antibiotics are not used to treat illnesses related to E. coli because the drugs potentially cause a variety of complications, according to the Mayo Clinic.