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E.coli contracted in work place

(24 Posts)
worrierandwine Wed 24-May-17 21:24:19

My lovely friend who really doesn't deserve any more shite has caught e.coli from a work colleague. Said work colleague apparently disclosed the fact she had e.coli during interview but was employed anyway. My friend is now undergoing scans at hospital due to previous tests confirming abnormalities on her liver. I don't know ALL the details but surely if friend has contracted e.coli from a colleague that had disclosed her illness then the workplace are liable? I should add the workplace is a dental practice so not only were the employer risking employees health, they were also risking patient's health!

prh47bridge Wed 24-May-17 22:05:14

How do you know she caught it from the work colleague? She had E.coli at the time of her interview but unless that was only 2 or 3 weeks ago it is highly unlikely she has it now. She was almost certainly clear when she started the job.

worrierandwine Thu 25-May-17 07:28:59

All I know is that this woman had e.coli when she was employed by the company and they were aware. Bit of a coincidence that my friend has caught it also if it's not from her colleague.

worrierandwine Thu 25-May-17 07:29:29

Friend has been ill for months but only recently had it diagnosed.

titchy Thu 25-May-17 07:52:49

Well given that the body gets rid of E. coli in two weeks she's either pulling your leg or someone has the wrong end of the stick.

picklemepopcorn Thu 25-May-17 08:20:50

Could you perhaps have misremembered the name of the illness? I don't think E. coli works like that.

And you can get it from petting farms, and zoos. Unless the colleague handles food other staff eat?

MedSchoolRat Thu 25-May-17 08:45:46

There are hundreds of types of E. Coli. They are everywhere in most of us; a small % (? 5%) of us are asymptomatic carriers at anyone time. Some E. Colis are harmless. Story that OP has told so far, could not say workmate was the source; couldn't prove anything without genetic testing.

Which strain E. Coli has your friend got?

Lonecatwithkitten Thu 25-May-17 09:06:51

The strain is important it will identify where the E.Coli was contracted from. Human to human transmission is very rare as it requires poor hygiene on the part of both individuals particular in a HCP workplace.
For E.Coli to cause serious disease the individual contracting would need to be immunocompromised so again there is probably a whole lot more to this than meets the eye.

worrierandwine Fri 26-May-17 06:30:36

Friend has told me all this via text. They confirmed the stain she had was from poo.

putdownyourphone Fri 26-May-17 06:34:14

She caught ecoli from a poo stain??

worrierandwine Fri 26-May-17 06:35:38

Just re-read the text and she said it's a severe strain of e.coli. The colleague nearly died and had/or has kidney failure.

worrierandwine Fri 26-May-17 06:38:34

I doubt the poo would have been visible confused more like micro particles of bacteria from poo that were passed on due to poor hand hygiene. I'm guessing woman has not washed hands thoroughly, touched keyboard or mouse, friend touched it after then eaten without washing hands.

WellErrr Fri 26-May-17 06:44:19

E. coli is EVERYWHERE.

If the woman gave it to your friend she would have had to actively had E. coli whilst at work, had diarrhoea at work, then somehow transmitted it to your friends mouth, who would have then also contracted it very soon after.


If the woman had E. coli at the time of interview, she would have been;
- extremely unwell, and
- conducting the interview from the bogs, as she'd have been shitting a constant stream of bloody water.

I think you've got the wrong end of the stick somewhere.

PossomInAPearTree Fri 26-May-17 06:46:12

Your body doesn't get rid of it in two weeks. I've had it for years. I'm a hcp and to be honest it's never crossed my mi d to tell work. I dont have d&v, it's not that sort of ecoli. I practice good hand hygiene and really don't think there's any risk of passing it on. I'm probably going to have it for life. I can't never work.

PossomInAPearTree Fri 26-May-17 06:48:28

You do not have to be extremely unwell when you have it. So it's quite possible the first woman had it and wasn't unwell.

WellErrr Fri 26-May-17 06:54:03

Apparently it was a severe strain though. Those DO make you very unwell.

PossomInAPearTree Fri 26-May-17 06:56:48

But not necessarily in a d&v type way. My consultant says I have a severe strain which is why I can't get rid of it. I take high dose antibiotics and have every day for years. So I'm not ill. If I stop taking the pills I go downhill a bit but I wouldn't say I get severely ill. I get a bit pyrexic and I'm in some pain.....but not anything that anyone would notice.

worrierandwine Fri 26-May-17 07:35:02

I think as a couple of posts have said, there are many different strains of e.coli and symptoms can vary widely. I'm wondering if the woman had the illness but it was under control as such. I will have to get more info from friend but don't want to pester her as she's had a lot on at the moment and last thing she needs is me peppering her with questions.

heebiejeebie Fri 26-May-17 07:56:13

We all have millions of E. coli in our gut. It can live in the bladder sometimes esp if underlying bladder problem like stones and can flare up to cause urinary tract infections (is that what the health care professional above was talking about?).

There is the o157 strain that causes gastroenteritis. But that's not a long term infection. And the only way you'd know that was the cause of your diarrhoea would be if you were sick enough to have stool samples sent. Seems odd to come to a job interview that sick.

What kind of symptoms did your friend have and how was the E Coli diagnosis made?

It all seems odd.

PossomInAPearTree Fri 26-May-17 08:28:54

Yes, mine is in my bladder.

prh47bridge Fri 26-May-17 08:29:05

You are still a long way from proving that the work colleague was the source of the infection. It sounds like the work colleague had a serious case of E.coli but you don't know that she is still carrying the infection. Even if she is, she would only infect others if her hygiene is poor.

Your friend could have picked up the infection anywhere. For example, she may have eaten food that was prepared by someone who was carrying E.coli and who had inadequate hygiene. Or she may have picked it up from failing to wash her hands properly after contact with animals.

Even if the work colleague is the source of infection that does not necessarily mean the employer has any liability. If she was cleared to work in this environment the employer has done nothing wrong.

putdownyourphone Fri 26-May-17 08:49:26

I wasn't joking - think your spell check kicked in when you tried to write 'strain' grin

putdownyourphone Fri 26-May-17 08:49:43

Gah! I mean I was joking

worrierandwine Fri 26-May-17 08:59:35

I will try and get more info without badgering her and get back to you all. I also doubt she turned up for her interview with raging gastric symptoms and agree e.coli could be contracted anywhere but my friend seems to think that it's definitely the colleague she caught it from.

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