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Prevent the Spread of E. coli

Do Not Work if You Have E. coli Symptoms

  • If you have been ill, do not return to work until you are symptom-free for 48 hours.
  • All employers should remind staff that if they are ill they should not be working.
  • If you work in a daycare, health care facility, or in the food service industry and have a positive lab test for
    E. coli, you need to get a doctor’s note stating that lab results are negative before returning to work.

Prevent the Spread

  • Wash hand thoroughly using soap and hot running water before any food contact and after any toileting or changing of diapers.
  • Use a nailbrush and soap under hot running water to clean under fingernails. Rinse thoroughly.
  • Have separate towels for sick people.
  • Clean bathroom taps, toilets, and doorknobs at least once every day with antiseptic cleaner such as bleach and water (1 part bleach to 10 parts water). Even better would be a separate bathroom for the sick person.
  • Wash clothes, especially underclothes, in hot water and dry in a hot dryer for at least half an hour. If the clothes cannot be put in the dryer, dry in direct sunlight.
  • Adults with E. coli or E. coli-like symptoms should not use recreational water venues, such as pools, for two weeks after symptoms are gone and four weeks for children unless a laboratory test is negative.
  • E. coli is not spread to others before you have symptoms (anywhere from one to 10 days after exposure to the E. coli bacteria).