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The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently investigating an E. coli outbreak across multiple states. On Feb. 2, 2021, The CDC posted this investigation onto their website. According to the CDC, they are currently looking at 16 cases in five states — Washington state, Virginia, New York, Oklahoma, and Arkansas.
Nine people have been hospitalized due to the E. coli outbreak. One person’s death has been linked to the mysterious contamination. There have been no recalls at this time linked to the E. coli outbreak.
The E. coli illnesses began on Dec. 23, 2020, and so far have been linked through to Jan. 7, 2021. There is still a chance of more cases being reported. This is due to the fact it takes two to four weeks to link an illness to an outbreak.
Authorities are working hard to discover the reason behind the outbreak. However, they currently can not narrow it down to any particular food.
The CDC has warned the public to seek out their healthcare provider immediately if the following symptoms occur:
- Fever higher than 102 degrees Fahrenheit and diarrhea.
- Bloody diarrhea.
- Diarrhea lasting for more than three days — with no signs of improvement.
- Vomiting so badly that one can not keep liquids down.
- Not urinating much, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing — or other dehydration signs.
These are symptoms of severe E. coli infection. The CDC has advised that all those who have these symptoms should write down everything they had eaten in the week prior to becoming ill. A person should report their illness to their state and local health department. They will also need to answer any questions public health officials have about their illness.
The CDC says there are four easy food safety steps that can prevent one from getting sick from E. coli.
- Wash one’s hands, surfaces, and utensils often.
- Wash all vegetables and fruits prior to peeling, cutting, or eating.
- Keep all uncooked foods away from raw poultry, meat, and seafood.
- Ensure all foods have been cooked at the proper temperature — food thermometers can help with this.
- Make sure all perishable foods are refrigerated.
- When thawing foods — do so in the refrigerator and not on countertops.
According to the CDC, most people experience severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea within three to four days after ingesting. Most people can recover without receiving treatment within five to seven days.
The CDC has reported that severe cases may develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). These people will need to be hospitalized. This situation is still being investigated. More information will be given when it is released.
Written by Sheena Robertson
CDC: E. coli Outbreak with Unknown Food Source
Yahoo! Life: The CDC Is Investigating A Multi-State E. Coli Outbreak With An Unknown Source; by Kristin Salaky
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Inline Image Courtesy of Raed Mansour’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License