Most people are at least casually aware of E. coli and how it is something you can try to avoid by properly handling poultry and meat. However, there is more to E. coli than simply proper food handling, which is why this page is dedicated to providing you with everything you need to know about E. coli.
What Exactly Is E. Coli?
- coli is a bacteria that is typically found in the intestinal tract. While E. coli gets a bad name, the reality is that the vast majority of E. coli strains are perfectly harmless for humans. The strains that are harmful are called pathogenic, which refers to the fact that these strains cause the negative symptoms typically associated with E. coli.
Depending on the particular strain of E. coli, symptoms can range from diarrhea to a number of other flu-like symptoms.
What Causes E. Coli?
Since E. coli is such a common bacteria, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly what causes pathogenic E. coli in any particular case. However, there are a few common causes of contracting E. coli:
- Improper food handling is perhaps the most common method of contracting E. coli. Handling raw or spoiled food is a significant risk factor, as is failing to wash your hands thoroughly both before and after handling food.
- Contaminated water is another common vector for E. coli. The risk is further exacerbated by failing to wash your hands.
- Animals can also be a vector for E. coli, and anyone handling animals should wash their hands frequently.
What Are the Common Ways to Treat E. Coli?
The best way to treat E. coli is to not get it in the first place. Once contracted, the key is to stay hydrated, eat healthy foods when possible and avoid taking anti-diarrheal unless directed by a doctor. Another important aspect is getting plenty of sleep. If this is difficult, a sleeping pill could be a viable solution.
How to Avoid Contracting E. Coli
Maintaining proper hygiene is the best way to avoid contracting E. coli. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching raw meats with your bare hands, and use common sense when handling animals or other potentially compromising items.