The Centers for Disease Control, along with several states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, are investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli. As of Thursday, 72 people from five states have reported cases.
This investigation includes infections recently reported by the Kentucky Department of Public Health. Other states include Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Georgia. The investigation is ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections.
Eight ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.
People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of three to four days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.
General ways you can prevent E. coli infection include good hand washing and cooking meats thoroughly. More information can be found by clicking here.
Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.