Pest Borne Diseases: E- Coli

March 7, 2019

Escherichia Coli, or E. Coli, is a bacteria commonly found in the lower intestines of warm-blooded animals. Most of it does the body good as it breaks down feces, produces vitamins, and protects the microbiota of the excretory system against harmful pathogens. In effect, most strains of E. Coli are harmless; some strains, however, can cause severe food-borne diseases, like the Shiga toxin producing E .coli  (STEC).  It can cause serious food poisoning once it finds its way into a person’s digestive system. Transmission to humans is through eating or drinking contaminated food or drinks, such as undercooked ground meat, raw milk, and contaminated raw vegetables. While most E. Coli infections are mild, young children, the elderly, and those with a weak immune system, infections are more likely to cause serious illness and could even be fatal. Extreme cases are said to cause tissue necrosis, perforation of the bowel, or sepsis if the infection transfers into the bloodstream. 


Symptoms of the disease caused by STEC include abdominal cramps, fever, vomiting, and diarrhea that may progress into haemorrhagic colitis, or bloody diarrhea. Incubation period ranges from 3 to 4 days. While most recover within 10 days, some patients develop a more serious infection and lead to life - threatening diseases, such as haemolytic uraemic  syndrome or HUS. HUS is characterized by acute renal failure.


Transmission to humans is via consumption of contaminated foods. Fecal contamination of food, water, kitchen surfaces and utensils, as well as cross - contamination during food preparation, can lead to infection too. Cross contamination may occur when cockroaches touch or rub past your food and water.

Cockroaches Transmit E. Coli

A person can catch diseases from a cockroach in so many ways. Cockroaches transfer diseases through their droppings or saliva. Transmission can also happen when the cockroaches touch your food and water. Due to the fact that cockroaches like to live in unsanitary conditions, they are always susceptible to carrying the E. Coli bacteria. One way to prevent E. Coli from infecting you and your family is to get rid of cockroaches in your homes.


Transmission of the E. Coli bacteria may be out of your control as it involves control measures at all levels of the food supply chain, from the agricultural production to manufacturing to preparation in your household. Let us do our part and focus on what we can control.

In food preparation, make sure to separate raw and cooked food. Cook thoroughly, make sure that the center of the food is 70 degrees Celsius. Wash raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

Lastly-  but just as important - get rid of cockroaches or prevent them from getting in your home. Seal cracks, hole, and crevices that cockroaches or other pests can use as entry points. More importantly, clean your home regularly. Cockroaches love it when they see dirty surroundings and they thrive in it. Dispose of your garbage regularly; wash your dishes and other kitchen utensils immediately; wipe off food particles and spilt drinks on your tables, sinks, and on the floors. If you already have cockroach infestation that you cannot resolve on your own, then call the experts in pest control.

As the saying goes, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

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