ALL NEWS

Washing your hands is the best way to stop the E. coli superbug

Oct 23, 2019, 6:32 AM | Updated: 7:48 am

E. Coli in Utah County...

Eight cases of E. coli have been reported in Utah County in the past two weeks. At least five people have been hospitalized. (E. Coli. Getty Images)

(E. Coli. Getty Images)

(CNN) — People failing to wash their hands after going to the toilet, rather than undercooked meat or other food, is behind the spread of antibiotic-resistant E. coli, according to new research.

Humans and animals carry E. coli bacteria in the gut. It is usually harmless, but some strains cause food poisoning, others cause urinary tract infections (UTIs), and the most dangerous lead to bloodstream infections.

E. coli has become more antibiotic resistant over the past 20 years.

Strains with Extended Spectrum Beta-Lactamases (ESBLs) enzymes destroy penicillin and another antibiotic called cephalosporin.

Scientists have now discovered that the likeliest route of transmission for ESBL-E. coli is directly from human to human, “with faecal particles from one person reaching the mouth of another.”

“Infections caused by ESBL-E. coli bacteria are difficult to treat. And they are becoming more common in both the community and hospitals,” David Livermore of the University of East Anglia’s Norwich Medical School said.

Livermore said mortality rates among people infected with these superbug strains are double those of people infected with strains that are susceptible to treatment.

He said E.coli is the most common cause of blood poisoning, with more than 40,000 cases per year in England.

Antibiotic-resistant strains cause around 10% of these cases and are particularly worrying for doctors, Livermore added.

Researchers analyzed 20,000 fecal samples and hundreds of blood samples, publishing their findings in The Lancet Infectious Diseases journal Tuesday.

Testing revealed that strain ST131, which dwells in the gut and can occasionally cause serious infections, dominated in human blood, sewerage and feces samples, while different strains were more common in animal meat and slurry.

“There’s little crossover between strains from humans, chickens and cattle,” said Livermore, lead author of the report, in a statement.

“The great majority of strains of ESBL-E. coli causing human infections aren’t coming from eating chicken, or anything else in the food chain.”

Livermore maintained that chicken should still be well cooked, and raw meat and salad should never been handled alternately, but added in the case of ESBL-E. coli “it’s much more important to wash your hands after going to the toilet.”

This is particularly important in care homes, as elderly people suffer the most severe E. coli infections, said Neil Woodford of Public Health England, in the statement.

Woodford also said inappropriate prescriptions need to be avoided to reduce antibiotic resistance, and more needs to be done to avoid infections.

“In order to limit serious, antibiotic resistant E. coli bloodstream infections, we must focus on thorough hand washing and good infection control, as well as the effective management of urinary tract infections,” he said.

The-CNN-Wire
™ & © 2019 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

All News

The New Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital, Miller Family Campus, in Lehi is dedicated at ...

Heather Peterson

One third of Utah hospitals not in compliance with hospital price transparency law

Hospitals have been required to post a list of the prices they charge for services since January 1, 2021.

57 minutes ago

Noah Pirkle snowshoes by the Mill B trailhead in Big Cottonwood Canyon on Monday, Jan. 15, 2024....

Carter Williams

Comparing Utah’s snowpack this winter with the rest of the West

Utah's mountains gained 12.9 inches of snow water equivalent, otherwise known as snowpack, between the season start on Dec. 1 to its end on Thursday

2 hours ago

Cookie Monster has taken to X to express his frustration over shrinking products, aka: "shrinkflati...

Bryan Mena

Even Cookie Monster is complaining about the US economy

“Me hate shrinkflation! Me cookies are getting smaller,” Cookie Monster posted on X. “Guess me going to have to eat double da cookies!”

2 hours ago

Macy Schmidt, the founder of The Sinfonietta, conducts the group....

Mariah Maynes

Barbie The Movie: In Concert features all-women orchestra, coming to Utah

"Barbie the Movie: In Concert" features an all women orchestra. And the film featured an all-women team of production and tech professionals.

3 hours ago

Thousands of pounds of Trader Joe's chicken soup dumplings have been recalled due to possible conta...

Jamie Gumbrecht, CNN

Trader Joe’s chicken soup dumplings recalled for possible contamination

The manufacturer, CJ Foods Manufacturing Beaumont Corporation, said customers found hard plastic in the dumplings. 

3 hours ago

tumbleweed...

Becky Bruce

South Jordan still cleaning up after tumbleweed take over

The invasive and non-native tumbleweeds blew into South Jordan on Saturday, blocking streets, driveways and even entire homes. 

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Washing your hands is the best way to stop the E. coli superbug