The first discovery of E. coli (Escherichia coli) in the human colon was made in 1885 in Germany. Nearly every strand of E. coli is harmless in humans, while others like serotype 0157: H7 cause significant and severe symptoms in individuals that are otherwise healthy. Many severe cases of food poisoning are the result of deadly E. coli bacteria infection that can lead to serious injury, long term illness or death.
E. coli Infection Symptoms
Out of all serious food poisoning infections, E. coli typically manifest much slower than other foodborne illnesses. The first symptoms can appear upwards of four days after making contact with E. coli. The symptoms include:
- Abdominal Pain and Cramping – Sudden severe cramping of the stomach and intestines is the first indicator of food poisoning followed a few hours later by diarrhea. The constant cramping of the intestines can produce bloody stools.
- Nausea and Sometimes Vomiting – Individual suffering from an infection of E. coli commonly experience nausea. However, vomiting is not as common nor is fever likely to occur.
- Fatigue – The continuous bouts of diarrhea and vomiting can cause a loss of fluids and electrolytes, leaving the infected individual feeling fatigued. The sensation of being sick, tired and exhausted tends to last much longer than other symptoms. Rehydration is essential to recovery.
Many of the common symptoms of this devastating foodborne illness will change throughout the progression of the infection.
E. Coli Infection Causes
The intestines of nearly all ruminant animals (cattle, goats, sheep, etc.) contain STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli). Even though the bacteria do not cause sickness to the animal, human consumption can produce devastating and life-threatening consequences. Most common causes of an E. coli infection spread through a variety of means including:
- Contaminated Foods – Any existing E. coli in foods can easily cause an infection when the food product is raw or undercooked. The contamination can also easily spread because of ineffective or lacking hygiene practices during the process or preparation of food. As an example, restaurant employees using toilet facilities without washing their hands can easily spread serious E. coli infections to customers.
- Contaminated Liquids – Although municipal water sources undergo various health measures to ensure public safety, water can easily become contaminated with life-threatening E. coli or other harmful bacteria. In addition, infection can circulate in a variety of waters including swimming pools, lakes and wells.
- Physical Contact – Individuals can acquire E. coli when coming into physical contact with infected animals or other people. Practicing proper hygiene such as washing hands and using disinfectants is a way to prevent cross contamination.
Serious complications can arise from a mild case of E. coli when the infection is not properly treated. Unfortunately, because the symptoms of stomach cramping, nausea, fever and diarrhea are so common in other conditions, many infected individuals fail to seek proper medical care. However, failing to obtain immediate medical attention can produce life-threatening complications including HUS (hemolytic uremic syndrome) or death.
Hiring an Attorney for an E. Coli Food Poisoning Lawsuit
If the case of E. coli is allowed to progress, it can turn into a life-threatening foodborne illness requiring extensive hospitalization and long term medical care. As a result, injured victims often suffer serious economic and non-economic losses and damages. Because of that, they often seek the skills of an experienced E. coli food poisoning attorney to handle their case for compensation.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers represent victims suffering food poisoning, food allergy, anaphylaxis and other foodborne illnesses. Our team of skilled attorneys has experience in handling food poisoning lawsuits and claims for recompense. We provide legal counseling and advice when filing a claim for financial compensation.
Our law offices can provide you various legal options to hold food manufacturers, preparers, processors, packagers, restaurants and others legally accountable for their neglect. We fight aggressively to protect your rights and can assist you in obtaining recovery for your medical expenses, time away from work, injuries and losses including emotional anxiety, mental stress, pain and suffering.
Call our law offices toll-free at (888) 424-5757 to schedule an evaluation of your case involving E. coli or other foodborne or waterborne pathogen. We accept food poisoning cases on a contingency fee basis to avoid the need of you paying any legal fees upfront.