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Escherichia coli and Neonatal Disease of Calves

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For more information about the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists For more information about the Organization of Teratology Information Specialists or to find a service in your area, call (866) 626-6847 or visit us online at: E. coli and Pregnancy This sheet talks about the risks that exposure to E. coli can have during pregnancy. With each pregnancy, all women have a 3% to 5% chance of having a baby with a birth defect. This information should not take the place of medical care and advice from your health care provider. What is E. coli? E. coli (Escherichia coli) is a bacteria that lives in your colon (gut) and vagina. There are many different types of E. coli bacteria and most are harmless to humans, but some can cause severe illness. Some ways people can get infected with E. coli are: Eating contaminated raw and unwashed fruits and vegetables Drinking unpasteurized milk and fruit juices Eating raw or undercooked meat Drinking or swimming in infected water Coming into contact with feces from infected farm or petting zoo animals What are the symptoms of E. coli infection? Most people will have stomach cramps, slight fever, and diarrhea, but many people have no symptoms. In severe cases, there can be bloody diarrhea, which requires immediate medical care. Rarely people with E. coli infection can develop a form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition is a serious health concern and can lead to kidney damage and death. How is E. coli infection diagnosed and treated? If you have symptoms of E. coli infection, a doctor will test a sample of your bowel movement (feces). Most healthy people recover in a couple of days without the need for antibiotics or over-the-counter medications that stop diarrhea. Does E. coli infection cause birth defects or pregnancy com

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