By Jory Lange

Image/Robert Herriman
Image/Robert Herriman

Kentucky’s E. coli outbreak has now reached Georgia, Ohio, and Tennessee.  In Kentucky, the number of sick people has more than doubled.  As of last Friday, 20 E coli O103 cases had been reported to public health authorities.  As of Wednesday afternoon, 44 Kentuckians have contracted E. coli. Health investigators are continuing to investigate this outbreak in which, so far, no single source has been identified.  Dr. Mel Bennett is leading Kentucky’s investigation. Dr. Bennet says that early reports showed fast food to be a source of concern. Investigators have been able to narrow it down further.  Now beef, chicken, and sliced American cheese are being investigated.

E. coli infections have also been reported in Georgia, Ohio, and Tennessee.

The 44 E. coli cases that have already been reported in Kentucky already make this the largest E. coli outbreak in Kentucky since 2000.

These simple steps can help reduce the spread of E. coli:

  • Washing hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, especially when handling food and using the bathroom
  • Washing produce before consuming
  • Thoroughly cooking meat
  • Cleaning and sanitizing areas where food is prepped as well as restrooms
  • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water