Shiga toxin-producing e.coli is one of the most common forms of escherichia coli bacteria. This form of infection can affect people of any age. However, children and the elderly are more likely to develop severe illnesses due to this infection. 

STEC are found in the digestive tracts of ruminant species such as cows, sheep, goats, elk, and deer. Cattle are a major source of illnesses in humans. STEC that affects humans does not affect animals. It can occasionally be taken from the environment and spread by other animals, such as birds and pigs.


Any age group can get the Shiga toxin-producing e.coli infection. Even young adults and healthy older children can develop this condition.

Each person’s STEC infection symptoms are unique but frequently include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Severe stomach problems
  • Vomiting 

Even if a fever develops, it often does not reach particularly high levels. The majority of people recover in 5-7 days. While some infections are extremely minor, others can be serious or even fatal.

The “incubation phase” of STEC is the interval between consuming the bacteria and developing the condition. The incubation period, which can last from 1 day to 10 days, is typically 3 to 4 days following the exposure. Mild abdominal pain or non-bloody diarrhea are frequent early symptoms that gradually worsen over several days. If it happens, it usually appears seven days after the onset of the first symptoms, just as the diarrhea is becoming better.


Stool samples are typically tested in a lab to identify STEC infections. To locate infections and for other public health needs, such as STEC, strain identification is crucial. Most labs can detect E. coli O157, and many can confirm whether STEC is present. Non-O157 STEC infections can be found in laboratories that test for the existence of Shiga toxins in the stool.

If you have diarrhea that lasts longer than three days, is associated with a high temperature or blood in the stool, or is so severe that you are unable to maintain liquids down and are passing very little urine, get in touch with your doctor.


It’s crucial to provide non-specific supportive therapy, which includes hydration. This infection shouldn’t be treated with antibiotics. Antibiotic use may raise the incidence of HUS, and there is little evidence to support its effectiveness. Imodium and other anti-diarrheal medications may also raise that risk.

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