Escherichia coli outbreaks
Harley, John P. Department of Environmental Medicine, New York University, New York, New York.
- Closing note
- Additional Readings
Escherichia coli O157:H7 is a gram-negative bacterium that causes approximately 73,000 cases of disease, 20,000 hospitalizations, and 60 deaths yearly in the United States. It causes hemorrhagic lesions in the intestines that lead to hemorrhagic colitis with severe abdominal pain and cramps followed by bloody diarrhea. This bacterium is also a frequent cause of hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), consisting of renal insufficiency, anemia, and thrombocytopenia (a low blood-platelet count) that can lead to the permanent need for kidney dialysis or even death. The central nervous system may also be involved.
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