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Virulent strain of E. Coli causing organ failure, suspect doctors

Doctors are suspecting that a new ‘virulent strain’ of the Escherichia coli (E.Coli) is responsible for the severe cases of gastroenteritis that has caused organ failure among patients.

tech reviews Updated: Jul 31, 2015 17:21 IST
Priyanka Vora

Doctors are suspecting that a new ‘virulent strain’ of the Escherichia coli (E.Coli) is responsible for the severe cases of gastroenteritis that has caused organ failure among patients.

The infection, doctors said, is causing severe diarrhoea in patients, with some reporting 18 to 20 episodes, leading to acute dehydration. Physician Dr K Bajan is treating three patients with gastroenteritis who have been admitted to the intensive care unit of PD Hinduja Hospital, Mahim. “One of t hem was put on dialysis because of kidney failure. Compared to previous years, patients are having severe symptoms and even sepsis ( inflammation) which confirms our suspicion that the E.Coli strain causing the disease is a virulent one,” said Dr Bajan who has admitted two other patients in the ward. Two of three patients who are admitted in the ICU are in their 40s.

Gastroenteritis, doctors said, could be caused either by a virus or a bacterium. During monsoon, bacterial gastroenteritis infections are more common because of rampant water contamination, said public health experts. People should avoid eating and drinking from eateries outside, especially during monsoon,.

“Not all patients are requiring hospitalisation. Most patients t his s eason have contracted bacterial gastroenteritis and E.Coli is common in all cases,” said Dr Shahid Barmare, a Kurla-based physician.

Dr Bajan added that the virulent strain results in result of higher level of toxins which leads to severe complications. Patients with gastroenteritis are treated with antibiotics.

In June, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation had t ested food items sold on Mumbai streets and found that 17% of food to be contaminated with E.Coli. The civic body had tested 520 different food items.

Last week, Mumbai ( 20 July to 26 July) 410 cases of gastroenteritis were reported from different city hospitals. During the same period, 30 cases of typhoid and two cases of cholera were also detected in Mumbai.