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Mesa E. Coli Attorney

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a diverse group of bacteria. Most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals. However, some E. coli strains can cause illnesses. Here are the major pathogenic strains:

  • Enterotoxigenic E. coli (ETEC)
    • Causes traveler’s diarrhea and infant diarrhea in developing countries.
    • Produces toxins that stimulate the lining of the intestines.
  • Enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC)
    • common cause of diarrhea in infants, particularly in developing countries.
    • Adheres to the intestinal lining and disrupts cell function.
  • Enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC)
    • Includes the notorious E. coli O157 strain.
    • It can cause severe bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which may lead to kidney failure.
  • Enteroinvasive E. coli (EIEC)
    • Causes a syndrome similar to dysentery with watery diarrhea and fever.
    • Invades and multiplies within intestinal epithelial cells.
  • Enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC)
    • Associated with persistent diarrhea in children and HIV-infected individuals.
    • Forms a biofilm on the intestinal mucosa and produces toxins.
  • Diffusely Adherent E. coli (DAEC)
    • Linked to diarrhea in children.
    • Adheres to the epithelial cells of the intestine in a characteristic diffuse pattern.

Symptoms of E. coli Infections

Symptoms of E. coli infections can vary depending on the strain, but common symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea: Can range from mild and watery to severe and bloody.
  • Abdominal cramps: Often severe.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Can accompany diarrhea.
  • Fever: Usually low-grade but can be higher in some cases.
  • Fatigue: Due to dehydration and loss of fluids.
  • Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS): Particularly with EHEC infections, leading to kidney failure, anemia, and low platelet count.

Causes of E. coli Outbreaks

E. coli outbreaks are often linked to a variety of foods, including:

  • Ground Beef: Undercooked or contaminated ground beef is a common source of E. coli.
  • Leafy Greens: Lettuce, spinach, and other leafy greens can be contaminated through irrigation with contaminated water.
  • Unpasteurized Milk and Dairy Products: These can harbor E. coli if not properly pasteurized.
  • Unpasteurized Juices: Juices made from fruits and vegetables that have not been properly washed or pasteurized can be contaminated.
  • Sprouts: Alfalfa and other sprouts can be contaminated with E. coli if grown in contaminated conditions.
  • Contaminated Water: Water that has not been properly treated can spread E. coli.
  • Soft Cheeses Made from Raw Milk: Cheeses like queso fresco can harbor E. coli if made from unpasteurized milk.
  • Raw Fruits and Vegetables: These can be contaminated during growing, harvesting, processing, and distribution.
  • Deli Meats: These can become contaminated through handling and cross-contamination.
  • Undercooked Poultry: Although less common than ground beef, undercooked poultry can also be a source of E. coli.

Proper handling, cooking, and preparation of food, as well as ensuring good hygiene practices, can help reduce the risk of E. coli contamination.

Prevention Tips

Preventing E. coli infections involves proper food handling, cooking, and hygiene practices:

  • Wash Hands Thoroughly:
    • Before preparing or eating food.
    • After using the toilet or changing diapers.
    • After contact with animals or their environments.
  • Cook Meats Thoroughly:
    • Ground beef and meats should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160°F (71°C).
  • Avoid Raw Milk and Unpasteurized Dairy Products:
    • These can harbor harmful bacteria, including E. coli.
  • Wash Fruits and Vegetables:
    • Rinse them under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination:
    • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw meats and other foods.
    • Wash hands, utensils, and surfaces after contact with raw meat.
  • Drink Safe Water:
    • Ensure drinking water is from a safe source.
    • Use water filters or boil water in areas with questionable water quality.
  • Stay Informed During Outbreaks:
    • Pay attention to food recalls and public health notices related to E. coli outbreaks.

Following these guidelines can significantly reduce the risk of E. coli infection and maintain better overall health.

Mesa E. coli Statistics

Between 2018 and 2022, Maricopa County had at least 100 cases of E. coli each year, with 149 cases in 2022 and an incidence rate of 2.0 per 100,000 people.

In 2018, Arizona was impacted by 2 outbreaks of E. coli O157 that were linked to romaine lettuce. The romaine lettuce A outbreak was traced back to the Yuma growing region in Arizona. During this outbreak, 210 illnesses were reported across 36 states.

There was another E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce in 2019 and one for leafy greens in 2020 that also affected Arizona. The Arizona Department of Health Services has reported that between 2009 and 2017, 28 outbreaks of E. coli were linked to leafy greens.

Don’t Wait!

Have you been affected by E. coli? Call The Lange Law Firm at (833) 330-3663 or contact us online today for a free consultation. Our experts will thoroughly investigate and fight for the compensation you deserve.