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Sunday, December 03, 2006

E. Coli Look

Under a high magnification of 13671x, this scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted a single Gram-negative Escherichia coli bacterium of the strain O157:H7.

E. coli O157:H7 was first recognized as a cause of illness in 1982 during an outbreak of severe bloody diarrhea; the outbreak was traced to contaminated hamburgers. Since then, most infections have come from eating undercooked ground beef.

The organism can be found on a small number of cattle farms and can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Meat can become contaminated during slaughter, and organisms can be thoroughly mixed into beef when it is ground. Bacteria present on the cow's udders or on equipment may get into raw milk.

Eating meat, especially ground beef, that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli O157:H7 can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. Although the number of organisms required to cause disease is not known, it is suspected to be very small.

Bacteria in diarrheal stools of infected persons can be passed from one person to another if hygiene or handwashing habits are inadequate. This is particularly likely among toddlers who are not toilet trained. Family members and playmates of these children are at high risk of becoming infected.

Content Credit CDC/ National Escherichia, Shigella, Vibrio Reference Unit at CDC Photo Credit Janice Carr CDC


2 comments:

Lisa said...

Each year, there are approximately 73,000 cases of E. Coli. This number may seem low in comparison to other infections, but in knowing how preventable it is; it is a big number. After reading through your website, it is clear that your organization has the same passion for E. Coli awareness, as Disease.com. Here, at Disease.com (a non profit website dedicated to the preventions and treatments of diseases) we realize how important establishing awareness is. That is why we have worked with several elite non profit organizations in the past. If you could, please list us as a resource or host our social book mark button, it would be much appreciated. Together, we can turn 73,000 into 0.If you want more information on that please email me back with the subject line as your URL.

Rolling Ball said...

Hi Lisa,

Thanks for your comment. I was not able to find a page related to E. coli at your website. Please, forward a link to me.