Health Care

U.S. CDC says ground beef possible source of E.coli outbreak

U.S. CDC says ground beef possible source of E.coli outbreak”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced the likely source of a multi-state E. coli outbreak: beef.

No common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified yet and the CDC said the investigation was ongoing. In addition, raw meat should be stored away from other food products that aren't cooked, such as fruit. The number of people impacted by the outbreak now totals 109.

Seventeen people have been hospitalized.

Despite the findings, the agency said it is not advising people to avoid consuming ground beef, but recommends consumers and restaurants handle it safely and cook it thoroughly to avoid further illnesses. Half of the cases are in Kentucky.

Earlier this week, the CDC issued an update on its E. coli warning, revealing that the outbreak had infected almost one-hundred people across five states: Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia. The outbreak has affected residents in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, with 46 cases reported in Kentucky.

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Symptoms include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

Anyone expericing symptoms of an E.coli infection are encouraged by the CDC to contact their healthcare provider "if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you can not keep liquids down and you pass very little urine".

Most people recover in five to seven days. These complications are more common in young children under 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

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