• English

    Google Translate Disclaimer

    The Maryland Department of Information Technology (“DoIT”) offers translations of the content through Google Translate. Because Google Translate is an external website, DoIT does not control the quality or accuracy of translated content. All DoIT content is filtered through Google Translate which may result in unexpected and unpredictable degradation of portions of text, images and the general appearance on translated pages. Google Translate may maintain unique privacy and use policies. These policies are not controlled by DoIT and are not associated with DoIT’s privacy and use policies. After selecting a translation option, users will be notified that they are leaving DoIT’s website. Users should consult the original English content on DoIT’s website if there are any questions about the translated content.

    DoIT uses Google Translate to provide language translations of its content. Google Translate is a free, automated service that relies on data and technology to provide its translations. The Google Translate feature is provided for informational purposes only. Translations cannot be guaranteed as exact or without the inclusion of incorrect or inappropriate language. Google Translate is a third-party service and site users will be leaving DoIT to utilize translated content. As such, DoIT does not guarantee and does not accept responsibility for, the accuracy, reliability, or performance of this service nor the limitations provided by this service, such as the inability to translate specific files like PDFs and graphics (e.g. .jpgs, .gifs, etc.).

    DoIT provides Google Translate as an online tool for its users, but DoIT does not directly endorse the website or imply that it is the only solution available to users. All site visitors may choose to use alternate tools for their translation needs. Any individuals or parties that use DoIT content in translated form, whether by Google Translate or by any other translation services, do so at their own risk. DoIT is not liable for any loss or damages arising out of, or issues related to, the use of or reliance on translated content. DoIT assumes no liability for any site visitor’s activities in connection with use of the Google Translate functionality or content.

    The Google Translate service is a means by which DoIT offers translations of content and is meant solely for the convenience of non-English speaking users of the website. The translated content is provided directly and dynamically by Google; DoIT has no direct control over the translated content as it appears using this tool. Therefore, in all contexts, the English content, as directly provided by DoIT is to be held authoritative.


    E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) Fact Sheet

    PDF version of this Fact Sheet

    E. coli O157:H7 and other strains of E. coli that produce Shiga toxins are collectively known as Shiga toxing-producing E. coli (STEC).

    Most strains of E. coli are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy animals and humans. STEC are strains of E. coli that produce a toxin and can cause severe illness.

    People usually become infected with E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) by eating contaminated food

    The organism can live in the intestines of healthy cattle. Eating meat (especially ground beef) that is rare or undercooked is the most common way of becoming infected. Drinking unpasteurized milk or juices, and drinking or swimming in sewage-contaminated water can also cause infection. The bacteria are present in an infected person's feces (stool) and may be spread from person to person.

    E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) can cause severe bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramps

    Sometimes infection causes nonbloody diarrhea or no symptoms. Symptoms begin 3 to 4 days, but can range from 1 to 10 days, after exposure. Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a serious complication that occurs in some infected people, particularly children under 5 and the elderly. In this syndrome, red blood cells are destroyed and kidney failure occurs.

    Infection can be diagnosed by detecting the bacterium in the stool

    Your health care provider can request a special culture for E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) from a laboratory.

    See your doctor if you think you may have this infection

    • Most people recover without specific treatment in 5 to 10 days. Fluid and electrolyte replacement is important when diarrhea is watery or there are signs of dehydration. Antidiarrheal agents should be avoided. Antibiotics may actually worsen the disease.
    • HUS is a life-threatening condition that is usually treated in an intensive care unit.
    • If foodhandlers, health care and child care workers, children in child care, or anyone in the family of such people have an E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) infection, they should contact their local health department to get specific recommendations.

    Infection with E. coli O157:H7 (STEC) can be prevented by:

    • Eating only thoroughly cooked meats and poultry (using a meat thermometer is the only way to ensure that food is thoroughly cooked).
    • Consuming only pasteurized milk and dairy products, and juices.
    • Eliminating cross-contamination from raw foods to cooked ones by thoroughly washing cutting boards and utensils, and by discarding used meat packages.
    • Avoiding sewage-contaminated water.
    • Washing all fruits and vegetables before eating.
    • Washing your hands thoroughly with soap before and after handling foods, before eating, and after using the toilet or changing diapers.