Acute Communicable Disease Control
Escherichia coli O157:H7

Escherichia coli O157:H7, a Gram-negative bacillus, is a specific serotype of the shiga toxin producing class of
E. coli
(STEC) and the most common such serotype in the US. Incubation period is 2-8 days. Shiga toxins cause
abdominal cramps and watery diarrhea, often developing into bloody diarrhea; fever is uncommon. Likely modes of transmission include foodborne (e.g., undercooked ground beef, fresh produce, unpasteurized juice, raw milk) and person-to-person (e.g., day-care settings). There also have been outbreaks associated with exposure to animals
and their environments and recreational water exposure. All E.coli O157:H7 isolates are confirmed by the Los
Angeles County Public Health Laboratory.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a clinical diagnosis and may or may not be associated with E. coli O157:H7. Children younger than 5 years of age are at highest risk for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a clinical complication consisting of hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, and kidney failure. Adults may acquire thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) after STEC infection.

Additional Resources