CDC Investigates Multistate E. coli Outbreak
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections. A total of 14 persons infected with the E. coli infection have been identified and confirmed. The type of bacteria responsible for this outbreak is referred to as “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli” or STEC. The CDC is looking at both food and non-food exposures as the source of the outbreak.
Information about the Current Outbreak
- On May 14, 2012, the CDC has initiated an investigation into a cluster of E. coli illnesses.
- The dates of infection range from April 15 – May 12, 2012.
- States affected by outbreak include: Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Florida (4), Tennessee (1).
- The CDC continues to work with state public officials to identify additional cases and the source of these infections.
Possible Sources Attributed to E. coli Outbreak
- Unpasteurized or raw milk
- Disinfected water
- Contact with cattle or feces of infected people
Tips for Avoiding E. coli Illness
According to the CDC, “people usually get sick from STEC 2-8 days (average 3-4 days) after swallowing the [E. coli] organism.” Most people infected with the 0145 strain develop diarrhea (usually watery and often bloody) and abdominal cramps with symptoms resolving own their own in seven days. To avoid sickness, the CDC advises:
- Washing hands after using the bathroom, handling raw food, petting animals or being in their environments;
- avoiding cross contamination of foods;
- and cooking meats thoroughly to at least 160oF or 70oC.
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