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Escherichia coli infection (Shiga-toxigenic E. coli)


Escherichia coli is a bacterium with hundreds of strains, the most famous of which is Escherichia coli O157:H7. Although most strains are harmless and live in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, this strain and others produce a powerful toxin (shiga toxin) and can cause severe illness. All shiga-toxin producing E. coliare now reportable in Oregon.

Disease Reporting

What is required?

Health-care providers and clinical laboratories:
Health-care providers and clinical laboratories are required to report cases and suspect cases of shiga-toxin producing Escherichia colito local health departments within one working day of identification.

Cases are subject to restriction on school and day-care attendance, food handling, and patient care while in the communicable stage of the disease, or for the duration of any diarrhea and/or vomiting. In general, restrictions on cases with Shiga-toxigenic Escherichia coli infection or shigellosis shall not be lifted until results of licensed laboratory tests of two consecutive approved fecal specimens collected not less than 24 hours apart show no identifiable pathogens. If sufficient measures have been taken to prevent transmission, or the disease is no longer communicable, worksite, child-care and school restrictions can be removed at the discretion of the local public health authority; school restrictions can be removed by a school nurse or health care provider; and health-care facility restrictions can be removed by the facility's infection control committee.

Disease reporting form (pdf) for health-care practitioners

See our disease reporting page for information on how to report and for telephone numbers of local health departments.

For county health departments:
E. coli: Investigative Guidelines (pdf)
E. coli: Case Report Form (pdf)


E. coli O157 statistics (pdf) from the Oregon 2013 Communicable Disease Summary

See Also

E. coli O157 and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE): applies to isolates of E.coli O157 to gain epidemiologic insight.