Actually, many strains of the E. Coli virus are virtually harmless. However, the most common serotype of E. Coli that makes headlines, 0157:H7, causes serious food poisoning in humans. Healthy adults can survive E. Coli easily, but small children, the elderly, and the sickly, are at high risk of death if infected with this particular strain of E. Coli. It can cause abdominal pain, diahrrea, vomiting, and fatigue. E. Coli is also deadly because it is difficult to avoid-it infects the food we ingest on a daily basis, like lettuce, beef, milk, and other fresh vegetables. You can’t tell that a piece of food is infected with E. Coli by looking at it or smelling it; E. Coli is an invisible germ. And that, perhaps, is what makes it so deathly terrifying.
E. coli resides in the intestines of all humans and animals. Normally, it coexsists peacefully within us. But in the recent past new, much more dangerous strains of E. coli have developed. Most people who become infected with E. coli O157:H7 can fight it off in a few days. But for every 1/20 people who get this strand, it is much more severe because the E. coli releases Shiga toxins which can trigger blood clots, seizures, and kidney failure – which is what makes E. coli so dangerous.
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