Hemorrhagic E. coli Diarrhea (Taco Bell Diarrhea)
Hemorrhagic E. coli diarrhea causes a bloody colitis (inflammation of the bowel). The bacterium involved is, of course, Eschericia coli, usually the strain E. coli 0157:H7. The diarrhea is severe with painful abdominal cramps, gross blood in the stool. It ususally lasts for 6 to 8 days. Most commonly, E. coli 01257:H7 comes from eating raw or undercooked ground beef (hamburger) or from drinking raw milk or contaminated water. Less commonly, E coli O157:H7 can be transmitted directly from one person to another. With recent outbreaks this disorder is in danger of being named for Taco Bell.