Skip to main content

E.coli O157 Protecting Yourself and Your Family

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.