The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported in an update today that a total of 109 people have infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 from six states, making it the  third-largest multistate E. coli outbreak reported in 20 years.

Seventeen ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.

In addition, preliminary information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak, while the source is still unknown.

The investigation is ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurant locations where ill people ate.

At this time, CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid eating ground beef or retailers stop serving or selling ground beef.

Raw ground beef should be handled safely and cooked thoroughly to kill germs that could cause foodborne illness.

People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting.

Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.

Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.