Escherichia Coli is a bacterium found in the digestive system of the both healthy animals and human beings. This bacterium is commonly transmitted by fecal contamination. This bacterium has more than hundred strains but the most dangerous of all the strains is E.Coli 0157:H7.This is responsible for more than seventy thousand cases of infection in US as well as deaths associated with it.E.coli are mostly found all over the surfaces in the environment especially animal surfaces as well as digestive systems. Anything which comes into contact with these surfaces should be thoroughly washed to ensure that transmission of this bacterium is reduced or minimized. This bacterium is responsible for the food borne illness which affected many people in US (Gould, 2009 pg 18).
The outbreak of E.Coli O157:H7 occurred in the year 1982 at Michigan and Oregon where it was affiliated to consumption of hamburgers in a specified food chain. The rare sporadic infections were identified prior to 1982.Thje review in relation to this outbreak was done by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) between the period of 1973 and 1983.The subsequent outbreaks occurred in lead to the widespread of this bacterium. This raised concern to the extent that E.Coli O157:H7 to be considered an emerging pathogen (Gumpert, 2009 pg 24).
This bacterium leads to a disease called hemorrhagic colitis whose symptoms are diarrhea and severe cramping. It may also be characterized by vomiting and fever of low grade. This illness often lasts duration of 8 days. Most of the cases diagnosed are related to diarrhea and hemorrhagic colitis. About 6 % of the diagnosed cases were related to diarrhea. E.Coli accounted for about 37 percent of all cases of diarrhea diagnosed (Holmes, 2012 pg 26). This disease is commonly found in old people and the children. This was also responsible for acute renal failure in children thereby accounting for about 10 % of mortality rate. Hemolytic anemia was also caused by E.Coli O157:H7.
This stereotype E.Coli o157:H7 was responsible the human infections all over the world. The disease outbreak cause by this bacterium is commonly associated with uncooked food as well semi-dry fermented foods. The first outbreak which caused hemorrhagic colitis took place in 1994.More confirmed cases of this illness were attached to consumption of milk.
Since the detection in 1982, more and more cases f outbreaks followed subsequently where they were associated with diarrhea and hemorrhagic colitis. The seasonal variations of this disease were noted where it was more rampant and prevalent in warm months.
E.Coli o157:H7 was not related to human beings in most parts of the world especially South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Chile and Canada as well as China. Most of the outbreaks were also reported in UK and Canada where the affected people are mostly children. Large outbreaks occurred in UK in the year 1996.Most cases were also reported in Scotland.
Most control measures have been put in place in a bid to control the levels and the spread of the diseases caused by E.Coli o157.H7 as well as reducing the effects of such illness. Control measures have been put in place in relation to processing of beef since it is transmitted from animals to humans through beef. The security of food supplies was put in place in order to prevent the contamination of food as well controlling the levels or eradicating this disease. The methods used to kill eradicate the pathogen includes steam washing and pasteurization (Pennington, 2003 pg 17).
The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) have come up with various ways to regulate the health standard for beef and poultry as well as milk in order to improve the security of food thereby reducing the effect of the pathogens.
The consumers should therefore take into consideration the preventive measures such that are not affected by the diseases caused by E.Coli O157:H7.The meat should be coked thoroughly in order to kill the pathogens. They should also avoid the milk which is not pasteurized. Drinking water should also be treated with enough levels of chorine in order to curb this disease.
Gould, L. H., & Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (U.S.), National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (U.S.) (2009). Recommendations for diagnosis of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections by clinical laboratories. Atlanta, GA: Dept. of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Gumpert, D. E. (2009). The raw milk revolution: Behind America's emerging battle over food rights. White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green Pub.
Holmes, A., & University of Glasgow (2012). Characterising virulence factors from pathogenic bacteria using fluorescent reporters. University of Glasgow.
Laskaris, M., & Korol, F. (2011). Foodborne illness, E. coli and Salmonella. New York: Nova Biomedical.
Pennington, T. H. (2003). When food kills: BSE, E. coli, and disaster science. Oxford: Oxford University Press.