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Unformatted text preview: ol, and people infected with the bug, even those showing no outward sign of illness, can easily spread it through
poor hygiene. Person-to-person transmission is most likely to occur among family members, at day care centers, and at senior citizen homes.
On average, an infected person remains contagious for about two weeks, though in some cases E. coli 0157:H7 has been found in stool
samples two to four months after an initial illness.
Some herds of American cattle may have been infected with E. coli 0157:H7 decades ago. But the recent changes in how cattle are raised,
slaughtered, and processed have created an ideal means for the pathogen to spread. The problem begins in today’s vast feedlots. A government health official, who prefers not to be named, compared the sanitary conditions in a modern feedlot to those in a crowded
European city during the Middle Ages, when people dumped their chamber pots out the window, raw sewage ran in the streets, and
epidemics raged. The cattle now packed into feedlots get little exercise and live amid pools of manure....
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- Spring '08