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Atlanta E. Coli Lawyer

The bacterium Escherichia coli, known as E. coli, is typically present in the intestines of humans and animals. While many strains are benign and essential for gut health, some can be pathogenic and result in severe health problems.

Common Symptoms of E. coli Infection

Most people experience some of the following symptoms when they have an E. coli infection:

  • Diarrhea
    • Watery Diarrhea: Many strains of E. coli cause diarrhea that is watery in consistency. This is often the first and most noticeable symptom of infection.
    • Bloody Diarrhea: Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), particularly the O157 strain, can cause bloody diarrhea. This type of diarrhea is often severe and can indicate a more serious infection.
  • Abdominal Cramps
    • Intensity: Abdominal cramps caused by E. coli infections are typically intense and painful. They can range from mild discomfort to severe, debilitating pain.
    • Location: The cramps are usually centered in the lower abdomen but can affect different areas.
  • Nausea and Vomiting
    • Nausea: Feeling nauseous is a common symptom and can occur with or without the presence of vomiting.
    • Vomiting: Some individuals may experience vomiting, which can contribute to dehydration, especially if accompanied by diarrhea.
  • Fever
    • Low-Grade Fever: Many people with E. coli infections will experience a low-grade fever (less than 101°F or 38.3°C). This is the body’s natural response to infection.
    • Higher Fever: In some cases, especially in severe infections or in individuals with weakened immune systems, the fever can be higher. Persistent or high fever warrants medical attention.

Complications of E. coli Infection

A severe complication associated with STEC infections is Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS). This condition typically develops about a week after the onset of diarrhea and includes:

  • Pale Skin: Due to anemia from the destruction of red blood cells.
  • Bruising or Bleeding: Due to low platelet counts.
  • Reduced Urine Output: Indicative of kidney failure.
  • Swelling: Particularly in the face, hands, feet, or entire body.

When to Seek Medical Attention for an E. coli Infection

Immediate medical attention is required if you or a loved one experiences:

  • Persistent or severe diarrhea, especially if bloody.
  • Intense abdominal pain that does not improve.
  • Signs of severe dehydration (e.g., confusion, inability to drink fluids, decreased urine output).
  • High fever (over 101°F or 38.3°C).
  • Symptoms suggestive of HUS (e.g., pale skin, easy bruising, reduced urine output).

Food Safety Tips

Preventing E. coli infections is not just about washing produce or cooking meat well. You also need to be careful in the cooking process. Some tips to help you keep a clean and safe kitchen include:

Avoiding Cross-Contamination

  • Separate Cutting Boards: Use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood, and another for vegetables, fruits, and ready-to-eat foods.
  • Clean Utensils: Wash knives, utensils, and cutting boards with hot, soapy water after each use. If possible, consider using a dishwasher.
  • Marinating Meats: Never reuse marinades used on raw meat unless they have been boiled first. Store marinating meat in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
  • Storage in the Refrigerator: Store raw meat on the bottom shelf to prevent juices from dripping onto other foods. Use sealed containers or plastic bags.

Washing Hands and Surfaces

  • Handwashing: Wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food, using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching animals.
  • Cleaning Surfaces: Regularly clean countertops, sinks, and other kitchen surfaces with hot, soapy water. Consider using a disinfectant solution or wipes for additional safety.
  • Sanitizing Sponges and Dishcloths: To kill bacteria, microwave wet sponges for one minute daily or wash dishcloths in hot water. Replace sponges and dishcloths regularly.
  • Drying Hands and Surfaces: Use paper towels to dry hands and surfaces or frequently wash reusable cloth towels.

Atlanta E. coli Statistics

The state of Georgia has been impacted by several multistate E. coli outbreaks in recent years. In 2018, there was a romaine lettuce A outbreak and a romaine lettuce B outbreak. Although these were linked to romaine lettuce, the initial sources differed. Outbreak A was traced back to the Yuma growing region in Arizona, and B was a coastal growing region in California. There have also been outbreaks linked to Fresh Express Sunflower Crisp Chopped Salad Kits and ground beef.

In late 2021, the North Central Health District (NCHD) began investigating reports of E. coli at the Georgia National Fair. Data from the National Outbreak Reporting System (NORS) shows 205 cases and 7 hospitalizations recorded for this investigation.

Contact Us

Have you been a victim of an E. coli infection? Contact The Lange Law Firm now at (833) 330-3663 or online for a free consultation. Our experienced team will investigate your case and fight for your rightful compensation.