April 14, 2021

E. coli Outbreak on Fond du Lac Reservation

An E. coli outbreak has sickened between six and 12 members of the Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa on the reservation in northeastern MN near Cloquet, about 20 miles west of Duluth. Health authorities say they have not yet determined the food source of the outbreak or the specific bacterial strain.

E. coliThe Minnesota Department of Health is currently investigating an E.coli O111 outbreak in the Twin Cities area. That outbreak has sickened at least 15 people, some of whom ate at Applebee’s restaurants between June 23 and June 29 before becoming ill. Four of those sickened in the Twin Cities area were hospitalized and are recovering. Labs do not normally test for E. coli O111, a less common strain of the bacteria, so some cases may not yet be diagnosed.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection, which include abdominal cramping and diarrhea hat can be bloody, should not be treated with antibiotics, as doing so can lead to serious complications such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which can cause kidney failure. Anyone in the affected areas who is experiencing those symptoms should see a doctor and be sure to mention possible exposure to E. coli.

Health officials say they expect to know more about the source of the Fond du Lac outbreak as test results become available later this week.

 

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