November 29, 2021

Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens Ten; Two Have HUS

A Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least ten people, according to a Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Facebook post. There is nothing posted on the official website about this outbreak. Public health investigators have not yet identified the source of this outbreak, but they think that some sort of food is likely. That’s typical for an E. coli outbreak.

Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens Ten; Two Have HUS

Most of those sickened are adults. And most live in western Kentucky. Six people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Healthcare providers have been notified about this outbreak so they are aware of symptoms and do not prescribe antibiotics if someone presents with the symptoms of this infection.

State health officials are working with staff at local health departments in the counties included in this outbreak to try to determine the source of these infections.

Symptoms of an E. clli O157:H7 illness include a mild fever, nausea and vomiting, severe stomach and abdominal pain and cramps, and diarrhea that is typically bloody or watery. People usually get sick two to five days after exposure to the pathogen.

In some people, especially children under the age of five, this illness can lead to a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. In fact, doctors should not prescribe antibiotics for a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection because that can increase the risk of HUS development. Symptoms of HUS include lethargy, pale skin, little or no urine output, bleeding from the nose or mouth, and a skin rash.

In the past, E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks have been linked to cake mix, yogurt, romaine lettuce, ground beef, raw sprouts,  bagged salads, and restaurants. In other words, just about any food can be contaminated with this pathogen. These outbreaks can also go completely unsolved.

If you have been ill with the symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, especially if you live in western Kentucky, see your doctor. Both E. coli and HUS can be life-threatening. You may be part of this Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, especially if you live in Kentucky, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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