2017 E. coli Outbreak Linked to Leafy Greens – Signs and Symptoms

Multistate Outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157:H7 Infections Linked to Leafy Greens (Final Update)

Posted January 25, 2018 11:00 AM EST

This outbreak appears to be over. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is an important cause of illness in the United States. More information about STEC, and steps people can take to reduce their risk of infection, can be found on the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and Food Safety web page.

What are the signs and symptoms?

  • People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) 2-8 days (average of 3-4 days) after swallowing the germ.
    • Most people infected with STEC develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps.
    • Most people recover within one week.
  • Some illnesses last longer and can be more severe, resulting in a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
    • HUS can occur in people of any age but is most common in young children under 5 years, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.
    • Symptoms of HUS can include fever, abdominal pain, pale skin tone, fatigue and irritability, small, unexplained bruises or bleeding from the nose and mouth, and decreased urination.
    • People who experience these symptoms should seek emergency medical care immediately.
  • STEC infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.