Streptococcus Faecalis – What To Know

Streptococcus Faecalis is the former name of Enterococcus Faecalis, changed in 1984 for scientists to try to better understand enterococci bacteria. 

Enterococcus Faecalis is a type of bacteria that can live in many parts of your body and for the majority of people, it has no significant effect.

Streptococcus Faecalis - What To Know

However, for some others, it can be very dangerous. 

In today’s guide, we’ll examine what Enterococcus Faecalis is, how it could affect you and what to do. 

Read on for more. 

What Is Enterococcus Faecalis?

Enterococcus Faecalis is one of the most common types of enterococci bacteria. They commonly reside in your gastrointestinal tract but have also been found in people’s mouths and vagina. 

The bacteria has been known to be able to survive in very extreme conditions like very hot, salty and even acidic environments. 

When Enterococcus Faecalis is in your intestines, it should live without giving you any adverse effects, however – the problems may arise if the bacteria spreads and causes infection. 

This may be in your blood or your urine and can even occur if you have sustained a wound during surgery and it gets in. 

If this happens, you may contract serious conditions such as meningitis or sepsis – both of which can be fatal. 

Generally, people who are overall healthy will not experience a problem with this bacteria, but those with compromised immune systems or other complications are much more likely to fall ill. 

Many infections can occur in hospitals and can be easily spread in this type of environment. As time has progressed, antibiotics have become less and less effective against this type of bacteria, and new strains have come forward. 

Causes Of Enterococcus Faecalis Infections 

Normally, the cause of Enterococcus Faecalis infection is due to poor hygiene, where people have not washed their hands after using the bathroom – mainly because this bacteria is predominant in feces. 

As such, the bacteria can spread from one person’s hand to surfaces such as door handles, computer keyboards, telephones, handshakes and public areas.

From there, the bacteria is picked up by someone else. 

Enterococcus Faecalis can also spread in hospital environments, either due to medical professionals practicing poor hygiene, medical professionals failing to properly clean equipment such as catheters and even simply by bad luck. 

Therefore, Enterococcus Faecalis can spread quickly. 

Symptoms Of Enterococcus Faecalis Infections 

If you fall ill due to Enterococcus Faecalis infection, you may start to show the following symptoms: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Chills 
  • Fever symptoms 
  • Vomiting 
  • Diarrhea 
  • Chest pains 
  • Abdominal pain 
  • Stiffness 

As mentioned earlier, Enterococcus Faecalis can even lead to much more serious conditions such as:

  • Meningitis 
  • Sepsis 
  • Urinary tract infections 
  • Periodontitis 
  • Endocarditis 
  • Bacteremia 

You may also fall foul of an infected wound, regardless of the size, which can appear green/yellow with a bad smell. 

What Should You Do If You Experience These Symptoms?

The best thing to do if you suspect you have a Enterococcus Faecalis infection is to seek medical attention immediately.

The treatment may vary from antibiotics, bed rest or something much more serious depending on the severity. 

It is critical that you keep up with good hygiene and try to avoid others as much as possible during the time of infection. 

Always try to stay as hydrated as possible, as some symptoms can quickly lead to dehydration and worsen your condition.

How To Prevent Enterococcus Faecalis From Spreading 

The best form of attack is defense, and in this example – the best thing to do is prevent the bacteria from spreading and kill it at the source. 

Therefore, you should always do the following:

  • Wash your hands with soap and warm water after using the bathroom
  • Clean down surfaces frequently after use, using disinfectant spray 
  • Wipe down public communication items like computers and telephones using a disinfectant wipe 
  • Maintain a good level of basic hygiene at home, in the workplace and on transport 
  • Carry hand sanitizer with you at all times for the meantime 
  • Empty bins and wash your hands whenever necessary 
  • Try to avoid touching your face/putting your hands in your mouth 

The Bottom Line 

While Enterococcus Faecalis infection does not normally affect healthy people, it does have the potential to make you sick. 

You can also reduce the risk of infection by maintaining a high level of hygiene and avoiding those who already have been infected.

Jennifer Dawkins

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