In a follow-up on the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 (STEC O157:H7) outbreak in the United States, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), several states, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration continue to investigate a multistate outbreak of 24 STEC O157:H7 infections in 15 states. This is up seven cases.
Health officials say the likely source of the outbreak in the United States appears to be leafy greens, but officials have not specifically identified a type of leafy greens eaten by people who became ill. Leafy greens typically have a short shelf life, and since the last illness started a month ago, it is likely that contaminated leafy greens linked to this outbreak are no longer available for sale.
Cases by state is as follows: California (4), Connecticut (2), Illinois (1), Indiana (2), Maryland (3), Michigan (1), Nebraska (1), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), New York (1), Ohio (1), Pennsylvania (2), Vermont (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1).
Illnesses started on dates from November 15 through December 12, 2017. Among the 18 ill people for whom CDC has information, nine were hospitalized, including one person in California who died. Two people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure.
In Canada, health officials now say the outbreak appears to be over. As of January 10, 2018, there were 42 cases of E. coli O157 illness reported in five eastern provinces: Ontario (8), Quebec (15), New Brunswick (5), Nova Scotia (1), and Newfoundland and Labrador (13). Individuals became sick in November and early December 2017. Seventeen individuals were hospitalized. One individual died.
CDC is not recommending that U.S. residents avoid any particular food given the short shelf life of leafy greens and because a specific type of leafy greens has not been identified.
Most people develop diarrhea (often bloody) and stomach cramps. People usually get sick from E. coli O157:H7 three to four days after eating food contaminated with the germ. If you are concerned that you have an E. coli infection, talk to your healthcare provider.