Health Care

Health Officials Scramble to Identify Source of Multistate E coli Outbreak

Health Officials Scramble to Identify Source of Multistate E coli Outbreak”

- The Centers for Disease Control is working to find the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened dozens of people in five states - including Virginia - since early March.

Health officials have not pinpointed a particular food, grocer or restaurant as the source.

As many as 72 people from these states have reported infections and eight have been hospitalized as of April 4, 2019, the agency said.

The cases have been recorded in five states - Georgia (8), Kentucky (36), OH (5), Tennessee (21), and Virginia (2). The agency added that state officials are probing more illnesses that might be part of the outbreak. DNA fingerprinting is performed on E. coli bacteria isolated from ill people by using techniques called pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and whole genome sequencing (WGS). They range in age from 1 to 74 years, with a median of 17 years, and 55% are female. No deaths have been reported.

Without a specific outbreak source identified, the CDC is recommending that consumers follow general advice for preventing food-borne illness, including regularly washing their hands, cooking meats to recommended temperatures, washing fruits and vegetables before eating, avoiding cross-contamination during cooking and not preparing food for others while sick. However, illnesses can start anywhere from one to 10 days after exposure. Raw vegetables - like romaine lettuce - ground beef and unpasteurized dairy products are three common culprits, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you're interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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