e.coli-bacteria.jpgLocal medical experts say the E-coli outbreak which has hit Europe should not be treated as a problem for foreign countries as the bug is common in human beings and can be contracted if proper hygiene standards are not observed.

While the E-coli outbreak has only affected Germany and other European countries, Zimbabweans have been urged to observe high standards of hygiene as the bacteria is common within humans and can easily be transmitted.

A local microbiologist, Mr. Tinashe Gono said E-coli full name Escherichia coli is a common type of bacteria that can get into food, such as beef and vegetables and is found in humans though it is not always harmful.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Welfare, Retired Brigadier Dr Gerald Gwinji said the bacteria is found in vegetables, especially those fertilised by cattle manure.

However, he said the bacteria can easily be contained if proper hygiene is observed.

E. coli normally lives inside one’s intestines, where it helps the body break down and digest food.

Unfortunately, certain types or strains of E. coli can get from the intestines into the blood. This is a rare illness, but it can cause a very serious infection.

The E-coli bacteria turned pathogenic in Europe and killed around 22 people infecting nearly 2 000.

The frightening aspect is that where ever there is food, there is a possibility of E-coli strains to which it has been said if the levels are not controlled to the minimum, then illness might result.