Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a disease typified by anemia, acute renal failure, and a low platelet count. It mainly affects children, but can affect adults as well. Cases are commonly preceded by a bout of diarrhea, caused by E. coli, which enters the body through the ingestion of contaminated or inadequately prepared foods. Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome carries a 5 to 10% mortality. A majority of the people who contract hemolytic Uremic Syndrome recover without major consequences but a small proportion develop chronic kidney disease and might need to go on hemodialysis. There is no treatment for Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, but there are some medications available to help alleviate some of symptoms.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome occurs after getting the stomach flu, which includes vomiting, fever, and watery diarrhea that is often bloody. Three to ten days later, other symptoms of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome occur, including but not limited to:
- Sudden paleness (pallor) and irritability
- Decreased urination
- Bloody urine
- Little purple bruises on the skin
- Increased blood pressure
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome is a side effect of eating contaminated or inadequately prepared foods. In 2000, over 2000 people became ill, resulting in seven deaths, after drinking contaminated water in Walkerton, Ontario, Canada. In 2003, a girl developed kidney damage from Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome after eating an inadequately cooked hamburger from an In-N-Out Burger and filed a food poisoning lawsuit. In 2004, 40 people got sick and one died after eating contaminated food in a Sizzler restaurant. In September 2006, contaminated spinach made 102 people sick throughout the United States. Of those 102 people, 16 developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome and one died.