E. coli

 E. coli, or Escherichia coli, is a type of bacteria commonly found in the intestines of humans and animals. Most strains are harmless and play a role in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome. However, some strains, like E. coli O157:H7, can cause serious food poisoning in humans.

    ### Key Points About E. coli:

    1. **Habitat**: Primarily resides in the intestines of humans and animals.

    2. **Harmless Strains**: Many strains are non-pathogenic and beneficial for intestinal health.

    3. **Pathogenic Strains**: Some strains can cause foodborne illnesses. These pathogenic strains can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illnesses, and more.

    4. **Transmission**: Often spread through contaminated food or water, undercooked meat, raw milk, and through contact with infected persons or animals.

    5. **Prevention**: Proper food handling, cooking meat thoroughly, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products, and practicing good hygiene can reduce the risk of E. coli infection.

    High levels of E coli found at Henley days before international regatta

    Water quality testing by campaigners shows levels up to 27 times acceptable limit for bathing as rowers told to take precautions

    Harmful E coli bacteria have been found at very high levels at Henley, days before elite rowers compete in the international regatta there.

    Water quality testing in the Henley Mile, part of the regatta course outside the Oxfordshire town, has revealed mean levels of 1,213 E coli colony forming units (CFU) per 100ml of water, across 27 tests. Where E coli levels are above 900 CFU/100ml, the water quality is deemed poor, according to bathing water designations, and is a threat to public health.

    The highest reading recorded by campaigners from River Action reached 25,000 CFU/100ml, more than 27 times the acceptable limit for bathing water. The second highest reading was 8,001 CFU/100ml of water.

    As a result of the testing, Henley Royal Regatta organisers are warning the 4,000 elite rowers to protect themselves from sickness and infection from the water. Rowers are being advised to cover cuts and to avoid swallowing splashes of river water.


    As thousands of rowers prepare to compete at Henley from 2-7 July, Sir Steve Redgrave, a former Olympic rower and chair of the Henley Royal Regatta committee of management, said the findings were a reminder of the effect sewage pollution was having on UK rivers.

    “Henley Royal Regatta supports the research undertaken by River Action, which highlights the essential work that needs to be done to improve the cleanliness of our waterways for all to enjoy,” Redgrave said. “Our rowers train daily all around the country. Our waterways are vitally important to our competitors racing, but also to all those athletes training on a daily basis nationwide.”

    But Thames Water said it was not the cause of the increase in bacteria and accused River Action of being alarmist. The company said it had carried out its own testing since May at two different spots in the river and the results were “reassuring”.

    It said its laboratory tests showed that apart from two days in May and two in June E coli levels were consistently at rates deemed good for bathing waters.

    E coli and intestinal enterococci increases over two days in May and two days in June were nothing to do with its outflows, the company said, and blamed industrial and road runoff and parasites from livestock and birds.


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