January 16, 2018

Jimmy John’s E. coli Outbreak Expands Into Ohio, Alabama; 25 Sick

Courtesy of the CDC

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified 11 newly confirmed case patients in the sprout-driven Jimmy John’s E. coli outbreak, bringing the total number of illnesses to 25 in eight states.

Michigan accounted for seven of the new cases, Ohio three and Alabama one. The CDC’s update notes that 88 percent of victims in this outbreak are women and six people infected by the outbreak strain of E. coli 026 have been hospitalized.

The CDC has associated the outbreak with contaminated raw clover sprouts served on Jimmy John’s sandwiches at locations in Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio and Alabama. So far there have been no instances of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a known complication of toxic E. coli infection that shuts down a person’s kidneys and can cause other life-threatening disease.

Illinois-based Jimmy John’s has had sprout-related outbreaks in the past and switched to clover sprouts with confidence that they could be sanitized more easily than alfalfa sprouts or other sprouts. Reports show that all sprouts have now been pulled from the chain’s menu.

The first confirmed illness started on Christmas Day and the CDC has tracked new infections taking place through February 15. It’s possible that the outbreak case count will grow based on lag times involved in diagnosing an illness and confirming it as an outbreak case through molecular testing.

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