What are the symptoms when drinking water with coliform bacteria?

It is important to note that coliform bacteria are considered as part of the enterobacteria family which is a cluster of pathogens that usually cause gastrointestinal conditions. The coliform bacteria can cause infections upon ingestion of contaminated water or food. The main coliform bacteria include salmonella which causes vomiting and diarrhea, shigella that causes dysentery as well as certain strains of E. coli which can instigate diarrhea and urinary tract infections.

Diarrhea

The most prevalent symptom of infection caused by coliform bacteria is diarrhea. Shigella can trigger the development of dysentery which is defined by profuse blood-streaked diarrhea. The E. coli which is closely related to shigella is usually neutral or even useful but some strains are pathogenic and can cause diarrhea.

Coliform bacteria
Even though rare in developed countries, typhoid fever is caused by the bacteria salmonella typhii which occurs in several developing countries. Typhoid fever is considered as a systemic disease characterized by flu-like symptoms such as abdominal tenderness, headache and loss of appetite, dry cough and fever.

Even though most cases of E. coli infection can result in mild symptoms similar to food poisoning, E. coli can lead to the manifestation of hemolytic uremic syndrome which is a disease similar to dysentery and can be dangerous. Always bear in mind that both shigella and the pathogenic strain of E. coli can be acquired by drinking contaminated water or eating food that contains large amounts of contaminated water or washed using contaminated water. Most cases of diarrheal shigella and E. coli can resolve on their own after a short time, while antibiotics are given for severe cases.

Typhoid fever

Even though rare in developed countries, typhoid fever is caused by the bacteria salmonella typhii which occurs in several developing countries. Typhoid fever is considered as a systemic disease characterized by flu-like symptoms such as abdominal tenderness, headache and loss of appetite, dry cough and fever. Those who have the condition can show signs of rash of elevated red spots usually on the front of the chest that fade after 3-4 days. If the condition is left untreated, it is fatal. You can learn more on how to manage the symptoms by registering for first aid training today.

The condition is acquired by eating or drinking tainted food or water. There is a vaccine against the disease that provides a high level of protection lasting for about three years.

Urinary tract infections

UTI can be caused by the pathogenic strains of E. coli and klebsiella. Just like with the diarrheal conditions, UTI can be caused by consumption of contaminated water but commonly caused by direct contact with the bacteria. The condition typically affects women, especially those who are pregnant due to the physical pressure on the urinary tract and hormonal changes. UTI can be treated with antibiotics.

Gastroenteritis

Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea and fever are the indicative symptoms of gastroenteritis. The condition can be caused by eating or drinking coliform bacteria particularly the strains of salmonella.

Poultry or meat products are the usual causes of food poisoning induced by salmonella but can be acquired from contaminated water. Gastroenteritis usually lasts for 2-3 days. If complications occur or the individual is already sick or has a compromised immune system, antibiotics are prescribed.

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