August 14, 2022

Number of E. coli 0157:H7 Cases in Missouri Rises to 13

According to Gina Terlizzi, Office of Public Information at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there are now 13 confirmed reports of E. coli 0157:H7 bacterial infections. Raw milk is a possible risk factor in some of the cases.

E. coliThe cases are in Boone, Camden, Clark, Cooper, Howard, Jackson, and Randolph counties. Two of the patients, both children, have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can cause kidney failure.

This serotype of E. coli causes severe illness. It produces Shiga toxins, which get into the bloodstream and can damage organs by causing apoptosis, or programmed cell death, or necrosis, or premature death.

In the investigation into an outbreak, the diagnosis is first verified, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis is used to establish a “fingerprint” for the bacteria, then questions are asked of the victim or the victim’s family to try to establish a source for the bacteria.

E. coli 0157:H7 and other Shiga-toxin producing bacteria (called STEC for short) are Category 2(A) diseases. Any illness caused by these bacteria are reportable to health authorities within one calendar day of first knowledge or suspicion.

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