January 20, 2018

Missouri Issues Alert About Raw Milk and E. coli Outbreak

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is issuing a health advisory about consumption of locally produced, raw dairy products that may be contaminated with E. coli O103. This bacteria is Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) that can cause serious illness and death. Several cases of the illness in northwest Missouri have been reported to public health authorities, including one confirmed case of  E. coli O103.

Anyone who has the symptoms of a STEC infection, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, which may be watery and/or bloody, and vomiting, should see a doctor immediately. Most people get better within a week, but some can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and death.

This is a reportable illness, so all health care providers should be on the lookout for these infections. All stool samples should be cultured for STEC 0157:H7 and other non-0157 STEC bacteria with a test that finds the Shiga toxins. Labs must report E. coli 0157:H7 isolates and non-0157 samples to the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory. Laboratory consultation is available by calling 573-751-3334 or 800-392-0272. If anyone has questions about this advisory, call the DHSS’ Bureau of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at 573-751-6113 or 800-392-0272. We’ll keep you up to date as this story develops.

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