E. coli is a bacteria that lives in the intestines of humans and animals and can make you very sick. People who eat raw foods or vegetables and milk that isn't pasteurized are especially at risk for getting the virus.
People can contract the bacteria from eating raw fruits and vegetables, unpasteurized milk or juice, undercooked or raw meats (especially raw ground beef) and also from touching or coming in contact with the feces of cows, goats and sheep.
The symptoms of E. coli are severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, and vomiting. The incubation period for the bacteria is one to ten days, with the illness accompanied with it lasting five to ten days
How dangerous is E. coli? While some forms of E. coli are mild and can cause no illness, some strains can cause you to get violently ill, causing severe anemia, kidney failure and sometimes even death.
To prevent E. coli, you should wash your hands after touching animals, changing a baby's diaper, and after handling raw foods. You can also prevent the bacteria from spreading by cooking raw meats to the appropriate temperature and avoiding eating raw fruits and vegetables.