E. coli infections now can lead to health problems later

An E. coli infection today might have long term consequences.

E. coli infections can do more than give sufferers an upset stomach. But no one really knows what those long term consequences are.

In a study published in the British Medical Journal, researchers studied the long term health effects of gastroenteritis. The Walkerton Health Study looked at an incident that occurred in May 2000 when the water system had offending bacteria in it. The tainted E coli 0157:H7 and Campylobacter bacteria water caused an outbreak.

The scientists followed up with the several thousand people to find out their risk of developing hypertension, renal impairment and cardiovascular disease nearly a decade later. And indeed, the people had an increased chance of developing one of the conditions. The researchers think it's important to follow up with individual cases of food poisoning.

Bottom line? This goes to show that it's important to make sure people have access to safe food and water.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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