Health officials are yet to detect a source for the outbreak.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting that a “fast-moving” E. coli breakout has infected dozens of people and hospitalized nine others in Ohio and Michigan.
The CDC announced via a press release on Wednesday that 29 individuals are ill due to the outbreak from an unknown source. No deaths have been reported at this time, as the first infection was recorded in July. The number of infected could increase over time due to the uncertainty behind the source of the outbreak.
The people infected with the bacteria have age ranges from 6 to 91 years old. The CDC says it will use its PulseNet system to track down the cause of the outbreak during its investigation. The agency stated the true number of infected may be higher and present in other states.
“Some of the illnesses reported in Michigan and Ohio have not yet been reported to the PulseNet system, but investigators are working quickly to add them to PulseNet to determine if they may be part of this outbreak.,” the CDC said in a statement on Wednesday.
Health officials have not yet identified the source of the bacteria.
Health officials are yet to detect the source of the outbreak, but it is thought to be tied to a food item. The bacteria is caught by ingesting contaminated food, which may include ground beef, unpasteurized milk or even salad packages.
An estimated 265,000 Americans are infected every year with E.coli, suffering symptoms including bloody diarrhea and vomiting. About 100 people die from the disease annually.
It comes after more than 120,000lbs of ground beef was re-called in April over fears they were contaminated with E. coli. Four outbreaks were spotted last year in items including packaged salads and cake mixes.
It appears the state of Michigan has had several outbreaks this month already, in addition to the current one. Officials are urging everyone to pay attention to food . . . how they prepare it and what they have eaten if they get sick.
In a separate news release, Michigan’s health department said it had received 98 reports of E. coli cases this month — up from 20 in August last year. Natasha Bagdasarian, the chief medical executive at the department, said the “significant jump in cases is alarming.” The Ohio Department of Health said it is assisting federal and local health officials with investigations. The affected individuals range from age 11 to 72, it said.
Symptoms of E. coli can include diarrhea, fever, excessive vomiting and dehydration, according to the CDC. “If you have symptoms of E. coli, help us solve this outbreak: Write down what you ate in the week before you got sick” and report your case to health authorities, the CDC said in its notice.
It also urged people to practice proper food safety: washing hands, utensils and surfaces often, rinsing fruits and vegetables, keeping raw meat separate from other foods, using a food thermometer to ensure meats are cooked properly and refrigerating perishable foods. Most infections come from food sources, but E. coli can be spread from person to person in places with frequent, close contact.
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