Gastro-intestinal infections caused by the bacterium Escherichia coli (E coli) in general will cause diarrhea and abdominal cramps within one week after eating contaminated food. However, in cases of epidemics caused by one strain of E coli is, sufferers can experience kidney complication called hemolytic uremic rare syndrome.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) is a type of kidney failure is rare. Usually affects only 5-15 percent of the population, especially in children infected with E coli.
This disease appears after diarrhea symptoms get better. The WebMD site mentioned, the symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin, fatigue, reduced urine, unexplained bruising, bleeding from the nose and mouth, and swelling of the face, hands, legs, or other body parts.
When we eat foods contaminated with E coli, in intestinal organisms will remove toxins and absorbed into the blood vessels are then carried by white blood cells (leucocytes) to the kidneys. This will cause acute renal impairment.
The impact is more fatal than the disease is damage to the brain, seizures, even coma. This disease can also cause complications in organ pancreas and other organs.
In dealing with these bacterial infections, doctors in Europe and the United States no longer give antibiotics since numerous studies show that the move would worsen the condition of the patient.
"It seems that antibiotics make the bacteria explode and poison in it out and cause damage," said Dr. Buddy Creech, an assistant professor of infectious diseases at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, as reported by CNN.
According to him, until now no specific treatment for the bacteria overcome the malignancy.
"All we can do is give patients cope with pain medication or put them on ventilators or dialysis if they need it. We cannot address the real problem. We can only wait for the body heal itself. What can be done simply monitor the patient and hope for the best, "said Dr. Robert Steele, a pediatrician from St. John's Children's Hospital in Springfield, Missouri.
Meanwhile, specialist in internal medicine from Cipto Mangunkusumo, dr. Ari Fahrial Sp.PD-KGEH, explains, kidney failure due to bacterial infection may occur when a person experiences a very severe dehydration.
The initial symptoms that arise in patients infected with E. coli, said Ari, in general is severe diarrhea. As a result, the body is dehydrated which can lead to disruption of kidney function.
In addition, other factors such as toxins or poisons that are released or produced by bacteria in the body can cause kidney failure.
"And this is dangerous. When the bacteria die, the possibility of toxin would die. But it could also dead bacteria, toxin still alive," he explained.
No need to panic
Ari added, E. coli infection for humans has a very broad impact. Mostly, this bacterial infection has a low mortality rate, but a high incidence rate.
E.coli outbreak in Europe is thought to occur because of the habit of consuming raw vegetables such as cucumbers and salad. In fact, according to Ari, bacteria in food would not have died simply by washing. "It is better cooked. Because if cooked properly at a certain temperature for example 80 degrees Celsius, will usually die, "he added.
Ari gave the message that people in Indonesia do not need to panic or take part affected by the plague bacterium that hit parts of Europe. Because according to him, Indonesia had not had to import vegetables from the country.
Precisely Ari reminded the people of Indonesia who plan to travel abroad to be more vigilant. "What is clear, when talking of food we should see, whether the food is still fresh, there is contamination or not, how our immune system against these foods, the environment, and most important go to healthy life," he concluded.