E coli testing kits help to determine the level of Escherichia coli in drinking water.
E coli contaminated water is a cause of many deadly diseases around the world. One of the many reasons for contamination is the presence of certain microbes like the E coli O157:H7. When the level of this microbe exceeds the permissible level, they lead to afflictions like gastrointestinal illness or infections of eye, ear, skin, respiratory or neurologic infections.
What is E.coli
E coli stands for Escherichia coli and is normally found in the digestive system of animals and humans. A few strains of this bacteria are harmful and if found in drinking water then it signals that the water is contaminated with animal or sewage waste. At certain times, this microbe may be carried into rivers, creeks, lakes, streams or groundwater. If such water is used for public water distribution systems without being treated adequately then it can cause harm to humans.
What are the reasons for the occurrence of E coli in drinking water?
In most cases, drinking water gets contaminated with E coli during the occurrence of natural disaster of some kind like an earthquake, hurricane or a flood. It is therefore common to hear advisory warnings from local authorities for boiling drinking water after such events have taken place.
Impact of E coli on health of the individual
If the harmful strain of this bacterium enters the drinking water, then it can lead to serious health consequences. Incidences of abdominal cramps, diarrhea with or without blood are noticed during the infection caused by this microbe. Young kids (kids less than five years) and elderly who have a weak immune system are impacted more severely by the infection. Around 2%-7% of infections in this group lead to development of a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome. This condition leads to destruction of red blood cells and kidney failure. A very serious condition requiring kidney dialysis and blood transfusions, the hemolytic uremic syndrome can even cause death of the affected individual.
How do you test for E coli contamination?
There are several options which help to determine if your water is contaminated with E coli bacterium. You can choose a professional laboratory which will do the analysis for you after you send them a sample of the potentially contaminated water. Another alternative is to use E coli testing kits. These are do-it-yourself kits which are cost effective and are termed as ’Bacteria in water test’. The E coli test kits provides you with results in a lesser number of days. You need to follow the instructions properly as given in the instruction manual. If your test turns positive for E coli presence, then the relevant authorities must be notified within 24 hours.
On a concluding note
E coli O157:H7 is a bacterium strain that causes millions of people to get sick every year. This microbe is responsible for triggering severe food poisoning in humans. Considering the grave impact E coli infection has on human health it is extremely essential for you to test waters for its presence even if you have a slightest doubt. E coli test kits are highly useful in this context.