NewsDesk  @infectiousdiseasenews

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), along with other federal and state agencies announced the investigation into a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections.

Escherichia coli
Image/National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

Thirteen people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli have been reported from six states. Seven cases have been reported from Washington state. Four people have been hospitalized, including one with a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. No deaths have been reported.

Epidemiologic data show that Simple Truth Organic brand and Nature’s Basket brand Organic Power Greens may be contaminated with E. coli and may be making people sick.

The true number of sick people in an outbreak is likely much higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because many people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.

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Most people infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after swallowing the bacteria. Most people recover without treatment after 5 to 7 days.

Some people may develop a type of kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome, also called HUS) and would need to be hospitalized.