Enterotoxigenic E.coli bacteria spread in contaminated food — including raw fruits and vegetables, raw seafood, and unpasteurized dairy products — and in contaminated water. Signs and symptoms, which include watery diarrhea and abdominal cramping, usually last just a few days. The infection normally clears on its own without treatment, and most adults and children have no lasting ill effects.
But E. coli O157:H7 is different. It produces a toxin that damages the lining of the small intestine, leading to intense abdominal cramps and severe, bloody diarrhea. You may have 10 or more bowel movements a day, some consisting almost entirely of blood. The marked loss of fluids and electrolytes causes dehydration and fatigue.
Nevertheless, many people recover completely from the infection in five to 10 days. But others, especially older adults, children under the age of 5 and people with weakened immune systems, may develop a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This syndrome damages the lining of the tiny blood vessels in the kidneys, sometimes leading to kidney failure.
Even with the best of care, including blood and platelet transfusions and kidney dialysis, a few children die every year of hemolytic uremic syndrome. Others may have lifelong kidney problems or require long-term dialysis. Still others develop further complications such as high blood pressure, seizures, blindness and paralysis.
OTTAWA (Reuters) - The Canadian government joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Friday in steering people away from fresh bagged spinach from the United States because of possible E. coli contamination.
"We're advising Canadian consumers not to eat bagged fresh spinach from the United States," said Rene Cardinal, spokesman for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
One person died and more than 40 people got sick after eating suspected contaminated fresh bagged spinach in the United States. Cardinal said the spinach should not even be eaten cooked.[