E. coli O157:H7 Infection
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      Part of series 1 of the CDC Museum set of Infectious disease trading cards, featuring photos and information about some of the infectious diseases that CDC studies.

      E. coli is a type of bacteria. Most kinds of E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, but some types can make you sick. In 1982, scientists discovered that an E. coli named O157:H7 could make people very sick. Most people who get sick from E. coli O157:H7 will have bloody diarrhea and cramps for about a week and then get better on their own. But sometimes E. coli O157:H7 infections can make a person’s kidneys stop working, and some people can die. You can avoid getting sick from this type of E. coli by ensuring that all ground beef or hamburger you eat is cooked enough to kill the bacteria. Do not eat hamburgers that are pink in the middle. Wash hands, utensils, and counters with hot soapy water after they touch raw meat. Never place cooked hamburgers on an unwashed plate that held raw meat. Drink properly treated water and pasteurized milk and juice. Wash fruits and vegetables, especially those that will not be cooked. Wash your hands with soap and warm water before preparing food, before eating, and after you use the bathroom.

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