By Jory Lange
The CDC is investigating a multistate E coli outbreak. First detected in Kentucky, this E coli O103 outbreak has now spread to Tennessee, Georgia, Ohio, and Virginia. Public health investigators have reported 36 E coli cases in Kentucky, 21 E coli cases in Tennessee, 8 E coli cases in Georgia, 5 E coli cases in Ohio, and 2 E coli cases in Georgia. You can read the CDC’s Investigative Notice here.
The first reported E coli infection E coli infection began on March 1st. The most recently reported E coli infection began on March 29th. Additional illnesses that began on or after March 15th may not yet have been reported to the CDC.
According to the CDC, “This investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections.”
E Coli Symptoms
According to the CDC:
- People usually get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E coli (STEC) 2–8 days (average of 3–4 days) after swallowing the germ.
- Some people with a STEC infection may get a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
- E. coli infection is usually diagnosed by testing a stool sample.
- Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out. Some studies have shown that administering antibiotics to patients with E. coli infections might increase their risk of developing HUS, and a benefit of treatment has not been clearly demonstrated.
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