The CDC has released more information about the multistate outbreak of E coli 0145 infections that was first announced on June 8. We’ve been investigating this outbreak since June 5 and first reported on the cases in Georgia and Louisiana on that date. The case count for this outbreak is as follows: Alabama (2), California (1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Louisiana (4), Tennessee (1).
Three people have been hospitalized in this outbreak of E coli 0145 infections, and a toddler in New Orleans has died. A source for the bacteria has not been identified. Dates for illness onset range from April 15 to May 12, 2012. The outbreak may be over, since the last illness was reported four weeks ago, and it takes two to three weeks for reports to be issued after illnesses are diagnosed.
Health care providers and consumers should still be on the lookout for anyone with the symptoms of an E. coli infection, including mild fever, severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is often bloody, and vomiting. E. coli infections can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura, illnesses that cause kidney failure, central nervous system damage, heart failure, pancreatitis and other serious health problems.