April 7, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Health officials are investigating an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 72 people across five states, federal health agencies said Friday.
States reporting sick patients are Georgia (8 patients), Kentucky (36), Ohio (5), Tennessee (21) and Virginia (2).
Symptoms of E. coli include severe stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea, according to the CDC. Most people get better within five to seven days, though the illness can be severe and, in some cases, even life-threatening, the CDC said.
Last year, an E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickened 62 people across 16 states and Washington, D.C.
The agency is working with the Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service to investigate the outbreak. They have not yet pinpointed a specific food, grocery store or restaurant chain that’s responsible for the infections. As a result, the CDC is not recommending people avoid a particular food.
Scientists are still unaware of a source point. The USDA, FDA, CDC and multiple state health departments are investigating the outbreak.
Anyone concerned that they might have an E. coli infection should talk to their health care provider. It is important to write down everything you ate in the week before developing symptoms. A medical professional can diagnose you as well as offer advice, including washing your hands, to avoid spreading it to other people.
E. coli are a diverse family of bacteria that can be found in the environment, in foods and in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless. To avoid becoming infected with a harmful strain, the CDC recommends using proper hygiene; cooking meat at proper temperatures; avoiding raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and juices; and not swallowing water when swimming.
Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days. Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until testing has been performed.
credit: In part with https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/05/health/mystery-multistate-ecoli-outbreak-cdc/index.html