July 20, 2019

E. coli Illnesses in MA Investigated by State, Federal Authorities

Health officials in Massachusetts are working with federal authorities to investigate the source of three cases of E. coli poisoning that occurred in June.  Results from lab tests last week showed a link between the cases, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Food Safety and Inspection Service.

E coli bacteriaLittle is known about the three patients who were diagnosed in June with E. coli O157:H7 infections. Health authorities are not releasing information such as the age, gender, or county of residence of any of the cases patients. Nor have they disclosed if any of those who were sickened required hospitalization.

Symptoms of and E. coli infection include diarrhea that can be bloody and abdominal cramping. Some patients with E.coli infections develop a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure and death. HUS most often affects children.

Health investigators are working to determine the food source that caused the illnesses by identifying common exposures. All three patients said they ate ground beef purchased from two Whole Foods locations. A recall was issued last week for ground beef products sold at those stores in June. Consumers who shop at those stores should check their freezers and discard any of the products covered by the recall.

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