Wednesday, May 8, 2019

E.Coli: Children under 5 must not consume raw milk

In order to avoid E. coli contamination, "children under five must not consume raw milk cheese or raw milk," says the Ministry of Agriculture. "Beyond, the risk still exists but it is still decreasing, children are still better protected beyond five years," said AFP Marie-Pierre Donguy, head of the mission of health emergencies.

Fatal in 3% to 5% of cases

Escherichia coli (E. coli) is a bacterium that is established in the digestive tract of humans and warm-blooded animals. The majority of E. coli strains are safe, but some are pathogenic, such as enterohaemorrhagics (EHEC). The latter produce a powerful toxin causing haemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is fatal in 3% to 5% of cases, especially in children. "The latter is characterized by impaired renal function and a decrease in the concentration of blood cells.A quarter of people with HUS also develop neurological complications that can lead to a state of coma, " says the Pastor Institute.

Symptoms of contamination

Symptoms caused by EHEC (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli) appear between 3 and 8 days after infection. This is abdominal pain and diarrhea , which can progress to bloody forms (bleeding colitis). Of vomiting and fever may also occur.

13 young children have been infected with Escherichia coli bacteria since 21 March. Some aged "from six months to four years" were still hospitalized on Monday because of kidney complications. Marie-Pierre Donguy pointed out that the investigations into the exact origin of the contamination were "still in progress", even though the Saint-Marcellin and Saint-Félicien cheeses made by the Drôme company Fromagerie Alpine were recalled as a precaution.

The main dangerous foods 

The Ministry of Agriculture's call for caution does not apply to cheeses made from raw milk, such as Gruyère cheeseThe main foods implicated in EHEC infections are undercooked ground beef, unpasteurized dairy products, raw vegetables (salad, young shoots of white radish, sprouted seeds), non-pasteurized vegetable products. pasteurized (apple juice) and water.

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