Food Poisoning Bulletin has learned that the multi-state E. coli 0145 outbreak includes Alabama. There are two confirmed cases of E. coli 0145 in Alabama, bringing the total number of patients in this outbreak to 11. There is still no official word from the CDC on the outbreak.
- Alabama (2)
- Florida (1)
- Georgia (5)
- Louisiana (2 ill, 1 death)
The Alabama Department of Public Health told us that there are some additional possible cases pending. They are waiting to see test results. The states involved are working with the CDC, which is playing a supportive role.
The illnesses began in April. The news about the outbreak broke when a toddler in New Orleans died of the infection last week. We have been contacting state health departments across the south to get the most accurate and latest information on the outbreak.
E. coli 0145 is a shiga-toxin producing strain of the bacteria that can make victims very ill. Shiga toxins attack red blood cells, shutting down the ribosomes that make protein. Tiny blood vessels then rupture, releasing blood into the stool and causing bruises and unexpected bleeding. In the kidneys, shiga toxins clog that organ with ruptured blood cells and destroy blood vessels, causing kidney failure.
There is no antidote for shiga toxins. Health are workers are required to report shiga toxin illnesses; this mandated reporting became law in 2000.