Measures that can effectively prevent human vtec infection have not been stud I ed extensively. Active immunization is not yet available. Proposed methods of reducing the rate of exposure to vtec include reducing contamination of meat in slaughterhouses and meat processing plants, and irradiating meat, as well as ensuring proper food storage, food preparation and cooking both at home and in the commercial food industry. An increased focus on handwashing once infection is ident ified within fami I i es may reduce int rafamil I al transmission.To prevent further spread in daycare outbreaks, Belongia and col I eagues recommend that all children with E coli 0157:H7 gastroenteritis be excluded from daycare until two serial stool cultures obtained at least 48 h apart are negative. This strategy has not yet been compared with co-horting of infected children. Whether hus can be prevented in patients with known vtec infection is the subj ect of intensive study.
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