There could be a high number of incidences of urinary tract infections (UTIs) in Birmingham & Solihull after the area was reported to have the greatest number of E.coli outbreaks in the UK.
Public Health England (PHE) statistics have revealed 1,000 cases of E.coli cases have been reported in the area in the last 12 months, with 3,791 incidences recorded across the whole of the country.
E.coli bacteria typically causes bladder infections, as the bacteria is spread from the intestines to the urinary system. Therefore, there could be more outbreaks of cystitis in locations where E.coli presence is higher.
Shamir Patel, pharmacist and founder of chemist-4-u.com, which put together the top 20 locations in England for E.coli incidences, told Cornwall Live: “E.coli is usually spread through faecal matter reaching the mouth, so good hygiene is really important.”
While E.coli is the spread of bacteria from the gut to the mouth through eating contaminated food, not washing hands after contact with animals, poor hygiene after using the toilet, and swallowing water in some streams or ponds, cystitis is when the bacteria infects the urinary tract or bladder instead.
The area with the second highest number of E.coli incidences in England was Devon, where 781 cases were recorded last year by the Northern, Eastern and Western Devon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
Dorset CCG reported 733 outbreaks in 2018, while neighbouring Cornwall had far fewer cases (505) during the 12-month period.
Men and women who think they might have an E.coli infection need to be wary of severe stomach cramps, diarrhoea that could contain blood, and vomiting.
Those who suspect they have a UTI instead need to look out for symptoms such as needing to urinate more frequently than normal; having smelly, bloody or cloudy wee; experiencing pain when passing water; feeling tired and ill; and having pain in the lower tummy.
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