Give Now

Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Unusual Strain Of E.coli Sickens 14 In Six States

The outbreak has sickened 14 and killed 1, but the CDC is unsure of the source of the outbreak.

E. coli. Shiga toxin

Photo: wellcome images (Flickr)

This is an image of an intestinal biopsy from a child infected with shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

Sickness Across The South

A multi-state E.coli outbreak has sickened 14 and killed one, the CDC reports.

At least six states have been affected by the outbreak. They are Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama, Florida, California and Tennessee.

The most common strain of E. coli is 0157:H7, but the outbreak has been traced to the shiga toxin-producing 0145. The earliest incident of the illness was discovered on April 15 and the most recent on June 4.

It’s A Mystery

It’s unclear what the source of the bacteria is, but officials are interviewing affected individuals to see what they ate in the days leading up to their sickness.

Shiga toxin-producing E.coli has an incubation period of two to eight days. Symptoms include watery and/or bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps. Usually they clear up on their own within a week, but some cases can result in Hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure.

This is more common in children under five and the elderly.

Preventative Measures

Since the CDC does not know where the bacteria is coming from, they cannot yet give specific guidelines on how to avoid infection.

However, common guidelines to avoid E. coli are washing hands thoroughly after using the restroom or petting animals, cooking meat to an internal temperature of 160 degrees, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products, and avoiding swallowing water while in swimming pools.

Read More:

  • E.coli outbreak sickens 14 in six states (USA Today)
  • E. coli outbreak sickens 14 in six states, 1 death in Louisiana (Fox 33)
Liz Leslie

Liz Leslie is a journalist based in Chicago. When she's not writing about food, she's likely eating food. Or dreaming about food.

View all posts by this author »

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Earth Eats:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From

About Earth Eats

Search Earth Eats

Earth Eats on Twitter

Earth Eats on Flickr

Harvest Public Media