'Fast-Moving' E. coli Outbreak in Michigan, Ohio Leads to CDC Investigation;  cause unknown

‘Fast-Moving’ E. coli Outbreak in Michigan, Ohio Leads to CDC Investigation; cause unknown

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  • At least 29 people were sickened by an E. coli outbreak in Michigan and Ohio.
  • The CDC is investigating the outbreak, but the cause has not yet been determined.
  • Health officials are advising people to handle food safely as the outbreak can spread easily.

Dozens of people in Michigan and Ohio have been sickened by a “rapid” outbreak of E. coli, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found no cause.

There have been 29 reported cases of E. coli disease in the two states as of July 26, with 15 in Michigan and 14 in Ohio, according to CDC data. The ages of sick people range from six to 91 years old, and at least nine people have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

However, officials believe the number of sick people is “probably higher” and the bacteria could be outside the two states, as it usually takes up to four weeks to determine if a disease is part of an outbreak, and sometimes people do. that do not require medical attention.

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Cause of outbreak in Michigan, Ohio unknown, says CDC

E. coli is most commonly transmitted to humans through contaminated food, but the CDC has yet to find the cause of the current outbreak.

Early findings of the study “showed that bacteria from samples from sick people are genetically closely related. This suggests that people in this outbreak got sick from the same food.”

The outbreak comes as the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday it was investigating 98 cases of E. coli disease, including cases not included in the CDC investigation. By comparison, in 2021 there were only 20 cases during the same period.

“While reports of E.coli disease typically increase during the warmer summer months, this significant increase in cases is alarming,” said Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, medical director of MDHHS, in a statement.

E. coli Symptoms

Symptoms of E. coli vary, but common ones include fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps and signs of dehydration, the CDC says.

Symptoms often begin 3 to 4 days after ingesting the bacteria, according to the CDC.

If you or someone you know appears to have an E. coli infection, the CDC recommends writing down what the person ate in the week before and reporting it to state health officials.

Prevention Tips for E. coli

In the meantime, the CDC says E. coli prevention tips include good hand hygiene and food handling practices. That includes washing hands with soap and water before and after handling food, using the bathroom and contact with animals and their environment.

Officials also advise against leaving raw meat, poultry and eggs or cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours, not placing cooked food on a plate of raw meat or poultry, thoroughly cooking meat, and discarding fruits and vegetables. to rinse.

Contributions: Mitchell Boatman, The Holland Sentinel

Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.

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