On November 14, 2012, Rita Bernstein visited Bergen Community College to talk about Escherichia Coli O157:H7. Escherichia coli or better known as E.coli is a tube-shaped bacterium that is found in the stomachs of warm-blooded animals. O157:H7 is a member of the E.coli family, which produces shiga toxin, and are capable of producing bloody diarrhea. E.coli O157:H7 attacks red blood cells, it interrupts flow of oxygen, and it breaks down walls of vessels.
E.coli can be found in unexpected things such as: spinach, bagged lettuce, sprouts, cilantro, unpasteurized apple juice and milk, peppers, or cat litter box. But raw or undercooked ground beef is the most common source of exposure. However, spread of the virus may also be by: Person-to-person, waterborne (such as drinking water or swimming in contaminated water), or airborne. This virus can target infants, young children, and the elderly. There are mild and severe effects. In the mild effect you can suffer from diarrhea, bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea and occasional fever may occur but not all of these effects may be present. On the other hand, in a severe effect you may develop Hemolytic-uremic syndrome and in this case you may suffer from kidney failure, loss of red blood cells, and a decrease in platelets in blood. Usually within hours up to several days patients develop symptoms that might last 5 to 10 days.
Rita Bernstein talked about how her daughter, Hailey, suffered from E.coli. Hailey was 3 years old when she caught E.coli from a triple washed ready to eat bagged lettuce. She had suffered Hemolytic – uremic syndrome, and was in a coma for 11 weeks. Hemolytic – uremic syndrome left Hailey blind. Three months had later, a miracle happened and Hailey started seeing again. Rita couldn’t believe it and she started taking her daughter around the house asking her what is that, what color is it, how many pictures were up in the room and so. But unfortunately,...
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