Mysterious E. coli outbreak continues to spread and sickens nearly 100 people in five states, CDC warns

Thursday, April 11, 2019
By Paul Martin

The CDC says 96 people have fallen ill in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia
So far, 11 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported
Health officials have not yet identified the source of the outbreak
Though it is a different strain, the current E. coli outbreak involves a strain that produces Shiga-toxins, which turned the romaine outbreak deadly last year

11 April 2019

Dozens more have fallen ill in a mysterious E. coli outbreak, bringing the total number of people sickened 96 across five states.

This means 24 more people have fallen ill since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) first reported the outbreak last week.

It is not yet clear what the source of the outbreak is, but it seems to be widespread.

Eleven people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported, but the CDC is warning consumers and restaurants to take precautions to prevent infections while it and other agencies search for the contamination’s origin.

Cases have been confirmed in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia – but inspectors warn that more states could follow.

The first reported illness was on March 2 and the last on March 26, and people infected have ranged between one year old and 81 years old.

The CDC, the US Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and several states are investigating the outbreak of toxin-producing E.coli O103 infections.

‘This investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections,’ the CDC said.

E. coli (Escherichia coli) are bacteria that generally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals.

Most strains are harmless but a few can cause severe infections.

Symptoms typically include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea and vomiting that generally last five to seven days.

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