Medical Definition of E. coli hemorrhagic diarrhea

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

E. coli hemorrhagic diarrhea: Bloody colitis (inflammation of the bowel) caused by E. coli, usually by the strain E. coli 0157:H7.

The diarrhea is severe with painful abdominal cramps, gross blood in the stool, and lasts for 6 to 8 days.

Most commonly, E. coli 01257:H7 comes from eating raw or undercooked ground beef (hamburger) or from drinking raw milk or contaminated water. Less commonly, E coli O157:H7 can be transmitted from one person to another.

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Reviewed on 10/30/2018

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