Last Updated: 10/05/2022
Health Care Provider Information on E. coli and HUS
Required Disease Reporting
- Reporting Enteric Escherichia coli infection (E. coli O157:H7, other enterohemorrhagic E. coli, enteropathogenic E. coli, enteroinvasive E. coli)
Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required to report cases and suspect cases of Escherichia coli to the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Reporting Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Health care providers and clinical laboratories are required to report cases and suspect cases of HUS to the Minnesota Department of Health.
- Cases are subject to restriction on daycare attendance and food handling.
- CDC: Escherichia coli Infections
Includes information about clinical features, transmission, trends, and more.
- Infection with E. coli (including O157:H7) is diagnosed by detecting the bacterium in the stool. Most laboratories that culture stool do not test for E. coli O157:H7, so it is important to request that the stool specimen be tested on sorbitol-MacConkey (SMAC) agar for this organism. All persons who suddenly have diarrhea with blood should get their stool tested for E. coli O157:H7.
- Most persons recover without antibiotics or other specific treatment in 5-10 days. There is no evidence that antibiotics improve the course of disease, and it is thought that treatment with some antibiotics may precipitate kidney complications. Antidiarrheal agents, such as loperamide (Imodium), should also be avoided.
- Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a life-threatening condition usually treated in an intensive care unit.
- HUS develops in about 5% of reported E. coli O157:H7 cases, most frequently in young children or the elderly.
- Blood transfusions and kidney dialysis are often required. With intensive care, the death rate for hemolytic uremic syndrome is 3%-5%.
Do you suspect that you have a foodborne or waterborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne/waterborne illnesses.