E. coli Infection

Reviewed: November 2021

E. coli are a diverse group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Although most strains of these bacteria are harmless, some produce toxins that can make you sick and cause diarrhea (loose stool/poop) such as Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC). People become infected by eating food or drinking water contaminated with the bacteria.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a rare but serious disease that can occur as a complication of an E. coli infection. The disease can cause kidney damage/failure and affect blood clotting functions. Typically, HUS occurs more commonly in children under 5 years of age than in other age groups.:

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