CDC Investigation Notice: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O103 Infections

A CDC investigation notice of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2019/o103-04-19/index.html. At this time, a source of these infections has not been identified.

Key points:

  • CDC, several states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O103 infections.
  • This investigation includes infections recently reported by the Kentucky Department of Public HealthExternal.
  • The investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections.
  • As of April 4, 2019, 72 ill people have been reported from five states. The last reported illness began on March 29, 2019.
  • Eight ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.
  • 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.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.
  • General ways you can prevent E. coli infection include good handwashing and cooking meats thoroughly. More information can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

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About the Author

Truman Lewis
Truman has been a bureau chief and correspondent in D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and elsewhere, reporting for radio, television, print and news services, for more than 30 years. Most recently, he has reported extensively on health and consumer issues for ConsumerAffairs.com and FairfaxNews.com.