- At least 29 people have fallen ill due to an outbreak of E. coli in Michigan and Ohio.
- The CDC is investigating the outbreak, but no cause has been determined.
- Health officials are advising people to practice safe food handling as the outbreak could easily spread.
Dozens of people in Michigan and Ohio have fallen ill from an outbreak of E. “rapidly evolving” coli, and centers for disease control and prevention did not find a cause.
There have been 29 reported cases of E. coli illness in the two states since July 26, including 15 in Michigan and 14 in Ohio, according to CDC data. The ages of the 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 “likely higher” and that the bacteria could be outside the two states, as it usually takes up to four weeks to determine if an illness is part of an epidemic. , and sometimes people don’t. require medical attention.
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Cause of Michigan and Ohio outbreak unknown, CDC says
E. coli is usually transmitted to humans through contaminated food, but the CDC has yet to find the cause of the current outbreak.
The first results of the investigation “showed that the bacteria from samples of sick people are genetically closely related. This suggests that the people affected by this epidemic fell sick because of 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 illness, including those not part of the CDC investigation. By comparison, there were only 20 cases during the same period in 2021.
“While reports of E. coli illness typically increase during the hottest summer months, this significant increase in cases is alarming,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, medical director of MDHHS, said in a statement.
Symptoms of E. coli
The symptoms of E. coli vary, but the most common include fever, diarrhea, stomach cramps and signs of dehydration, according to the CDC.
Symptoms often begin 3 to 4 days after swallowing 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 the previous week and reporting it to state health officials.
E. coli prevention tips
In the meantime, the CDC says prevention tips for E. coli include good hand hygiene and food handling practices. This includes washing hands with soap and water before and after handling food, using the toilet, and having contact with animals and their environment.
Officials also advise not to leave raw meat, poultry and eggs or cooked food at room temperature for more than two hours, not to place cooked food on a plate containing raw meat or poultry, to cook the meat well and to rinse the fruits and vegetables.
Contributor: Mitchell Boatman, The Holland Sentinel
Follow Jordan Mendoza on Twitter: @jordan_mendoza5.
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