HOW CAN I PREVENT CONTRACTING THIS DISEASE?
There is currently no vaccine against STEC infection. There is no specific antibacterial treatment for STEC infection. Most persons recover without antibiotics or other treatment in 5 to 10 days. Antidiarrheal agents, such as loperamide (Imodium), should be avoided. Ill people should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration. Young children and the elderly are at special risk for dehydration. A prolonged stay in the hospital will be required if diagnosed with HUS.
You can help prevent the spread of STEC by:
- Cooking beef, pork, and lamb steaks to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C) and cooking ground beef, pork, and lamb to an internal temperature of 155°F (68°C).
- Frequently washing your hands vigorously with soap and warm water, especially after toilet visits, changing diapers, and before eating or preparing food.
- Washing kitchen work surfaces, and utensils with soap and water immediately after they have been in contact with raw meat or poultry.
- Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
- Avoid swallowing water when swimming in lakes, ponds, streams, and swimming pools.
- Washing clothing and linens soiled with stool or vomit in hot water and soap, immediately.
- Not preparing food for at least 3 to 5 days after recovering from being ill.