The Prime Minister of Malaysia has contracted an E. coli infection, which is a bacterial infection that can cause sometimes severe gastrointestinal disease.

tweetIt is believed that PM Datuk Seri Najib Razak contracted the infection while touring the flood-hit areas of his country.

Malaysian health officials say that the PM’s infection is no indicator of an E.coli outbreak in any of the states affected by the recent floods.

According to The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), doctors have ordered him to stay at home and rest.

According to a tweet he writes (computer translated), “I will continue to monitor the flood relief operations from home. ”

Most types of E. coli are not implicated in human illness; however some can cause bloody diarrhea and kidney issues.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

The symptoms of  E. coli O157:H7 infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Related: Malaysia dengue outbreak nears 100,000

Around 5–10% of those who are diagnosed with STEC infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

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