Health officials are investigating a

Health officials are investigating a

Public health officials are investigating a growing number of diseases linked to E. coli bacteria in Michigan and Ohio, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week. At least 29 cases have been reported so far, and CDC says the number is expected to increase.

The CDC says it has not yet identified the foods causing the “rapid outbreak.” It urged anyone with symptoms of an E. coli infection to report them to their local health departments. Fever, diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and dehydration are some signs of the infection.

The onset of symptoms usually happens three or four days after a person ingests the bacteria, and most people who get sick will recover within seven days without treatment, the CDC said.

Of the 29 cases so far linked to the current E. coli outbreak — 15 in Michigan and 14 in Ohio — nine people had to be hospitalized. No deaths have been reported.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has made its own announcement about the rising E. coli disease in the state, saying it is working with local health departments in Kent, Ottawa and Oakland counties to investigate the cause.

According to the announcement, nearly 100 cases have been reported to the state’s health department since early August, which is about five times the number of cases reported during the same period last year. Lab tests indicate that some of the current cases are linked, the health department said. However, it stressed that the ongoing investigation in Michigan is still “in the early stages.”

“While reports of E. coli As the disease typically increases during the warmer summer months, this significant jump in the number of cases is alarming,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, the chief medical executive of Michigan’s health department, said in a statement. “This is a reminder to ensure that you follow best practices when it comes to hand hygiene and food handling to prevent these types of foodborne illnesses.”

A spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Health said the cases reported in the state are from Clermont, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Wood, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning and Summit counties, according to CBS affiliate WBNS, adding that four of the nine cases requiring hospitalization are in Ohio.

Like health officials in Michigan and Ohio, the CDC encourages people to take extra precautions when handling food to reduce their risk of consuming or spreading E. coli. Wash hands, utensils and surfaces that may come into contact with food; washing products; separating raw food from cooked food; and refrigerating anything perishable is recommended. Health officials also recommend using a thermometer to ensure food is cooked at a high enough temperature to kill the germ.

One of the most recent major E. coli outbreaks happened towards the end of 2019, when nearly 200 people in more than half of the US states became ill after eating contaminated romaine lettuce. Months after giving the public the go-ahead to resume consumption of the lettuce, regulators at the Food and Drug Administration said cow feces, resulting from “the proximity of livestock to produce fields,” likely contributed to the contamination.

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