Wednesday, 09 November 2005
E. coli O157 is commonly found in the gut of healthy livestock and it can be shed in their faeces. It may also be present in unchlorinated water supplies or incontaminated ready-to-eat food.E coli O157 can be passed from person-to-person.
Escherichia coli (E. coli)is the name given to a large family of bacteria commonly found in the gut of humans and animals. The majority of E. coli are harmless however, some types can cause illness. One particular type, known as E.coliO157 causes serious illness in humans, ranging from diarrhoea to kidney failure and even death. Human infection has been increasing worldwide since the early 1980s. In 1996 Scotland had a large outbreak that affected over 500 people and 21 people died. Here in Ireland, the number of reported cases is on average, 50 per year.