December 7, 2021

CDC Investigation of E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1 Ends

The FDA and CDC have announced that they have completed their investigation into two mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks. Here we focus on the investigation into E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1. This outbreak is different from Unknown Source 2 and Unknown Source 3. And this outbreak is the number eight multistate outbreak of 2020 in terms of numbers of people sickened.

CDC Investigation of E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1 Ends

The first completed investigation was into Outbreak Unknown Source 1, which has sickened 32 people in 12 states. The case count by state is: California (10), Illinois (3), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (2), Montana (2), New Jersey (1), Ohio (7), Utah (1), Virginia (1), Washington (1), and Wisconsin (2). Fifteen people were hospitalized because they were so sick, and one person who lived in Michigan died. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure.

Illness onset dates ranged from June 6, 2020 to October 25, 2020. The patient age range was from 2 to 75 years. Whole genome sequencing of isolates from 15 patients found antibiotic resistance to chloramphenicol, streptomycin, sulfisoxazole, tetracycline, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. These findings do not affect treatment guidance since antibiotics are not recommended for patients with E. coliO157:H7 infections.

In this outbreak, ill people said they ate out at restaurants before they got sick. The patients ate a variety of food items. Several patients said they ate at the same restaurant and ate multiple common food items.

The CDC analyzed the interview data and didn’t identify a specific food item as a potential source of the outbreak. FDA conducted traceback investigations for several of the foods served at the restaurant and did not find a common source in the distribution chain.

There was not enough information available for investigators to identify any potential food that caused this E. coli Outbreak Unknown Source 1.  The outbreak ended before enough information was available for investigators to identify the likely source.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or hemolytic uremic syndrome, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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