An E. coli outbreak associated with Captain Al’s Steak & Shrimp restaurant in Gulfport, Mississippi has sickened dozens of people, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health. That restaurant is located at 11268 Lorraine Road. The Health Department closed the restaurant on January 3, 2017 after being informed that at least 50 people had been sickened after eating there.
The notice states that “molecular testing at the Mississippi Public Health Laboratory has indicated that the causative organisms are types of E. coli referred to as enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC) and enteroaggregative E. coli (EAEC). These types of E. coli are not Shiga toxin-producing E.coli (STEC), but are known to cause significant diarrheal illness.”
The restaurant has posted a sign on its front door stating that they are “closed for remodeling.” And on their Facebook page, the owners have posted a comment about the outbreak, stating “everything on our end is good,” and “Problem Solved and Moving Forward! Something’s [sic] are out of your control.”
The reports of illness started on December 16, 2016 and continued through December 30, 2016. Public health officials do not know what food may have caused these illnesses. The notice from the MS Health Alert Network states, “The primary symptoms reported are diarrhea (83%), stomach cramps (76%), chills (57%), headache (51%), nausea (39%), and fever (34%). Bloody stools were reported by 13% of cases. The incubation period ranges from 2 to 146.5 hours, with a median of 24 hours; the duration of illness is between 5 to 21 days, with a median of 10 days. Twenty-one people reported seeing a healthcare provider at some point during their illness, and one individual has required hospitalization.”
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include a mild fever, severe abdominal cramps and pain, and diarrhea that is watery and/or bloody. These symptoms usually begin three to ten days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Most people who are sickened with this type of infection see a doctor because their symptoms are so severe. Anyone experiencing these symptoms needs to be taken to a doctor immediately.