A fast-spreading E. coli infection has prompted state health officials and the CDC to issue an urgent health alert – an E. coli outbreak.
According to NPR, a quickly spreading E. coli epidemic is to blame for at least 29 instances of illness in the states of Michigan and Ohio.
This month, there have been more E. coli-related illnesses reported, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported. In the month of August, 98 instances have so far been reported. Compared to the 20 recorded instances from the same period last year, this represents a significant increase.
Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical officer of MDHHS, said in a press release that although reports of E. coli sickness normally rise during the hotter summer months, this high spike of cases is troubling.
“This is a reminder to make sure to follow best practices when it comes to hand hygiene and food handling to prevent these kinds of foodborne illness. If you are experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection like cramping and diarrhea (or gastrointestinal distress), especially if they are severe, make sure to let your health care provider know.” Dr. Bagdasarian said.
The probe is still in its early stages, health experts claimed. Lab results already in existence connected some cases. In Kent, Ottawa, and Oakland County, investigations are being conducted.
The state of Michigan reported 15 of the confirmed cases, while the state of Ohio recorded 14 of them. At least nine people have been brought to hospitals, even though there have been no documented fatalities associated with the outbreak. However, the source of the outbreak is still unknown.
In a statement from the CDC, “A CDC investigation notice regarding a multistate outbreak of E. coli O157 infections is now live, a food has not yet been identified as the source of this fast-moving outbreak. So far, illnesses have only been reported from Michigan and Ohio.”
It is “likely more than the number reported by CDC” that people have actually fallen ill as a result of this outbreak.
In order to ascertain what, if anything, may have contributed to an illness, such as the “items they ate in the week before they got sick,” local and state health officials are interviewing people.
The agency stated, “Michigan and Ohio have both reported large increases in the number of coli infections in their states. Public health officials are working to determine how many of these infections are linked to the outbreak.”
Escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria typically reside in the intestines of healthy humans and animals, according to Mayo Clinic. E.coli could be a risk for you through tainted water or food, particularly uncooked ground beef and raw vegetables.
Read it here: Cdc.gov