May 7, 2021

New E. coli O145:H28 Outbreak Sickens 15; Little Information Provided

A new E. coli O145:H28 outbreak has been posted on the FDA’s CORE Investigation outbreak table. This new outbreak has sickened at least 15 people. There is no more information provided, which is typical for a posting on that table. The FDA only gives out more information about these outbreaks when they believe there are actionable steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, such as a recall.

New E. coli O145:H28 Outbreak Sickens 15; Little Information Provided

E. coli O145 is a serotype of E. coli that is part of the Big Six STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) bacteria group that the government started screening for in 2012. This pathogen produces Shiga toxins, which attack red blood cells that die and travel to the kidneys, where they clog small tubes in that organ and can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure.

The FDA has initiated a traceback investigation, which may indicate that the government has identified a particular food they are looking at as part of the outbreak. In the past, E. coli outbreaks have been linked to everything from flour to ground beef to romaine lettuce to state fairs to ground bison to unpasteurized apple cider to nut butter and raw cookie dough. No recall has been issued, no on-site inspections have been schedules, and no samples have been collected for analysis.

But E. coli O145 outbreaks in the United States are relatively rare. There was one outbreak of that serotype in 2010 associated with shredded romaine lettuce that sickened 26 people in five states, with seven probable cases; and another unsolved outbreak in 2012 that sickened 18 people in 9 states. And this year, an E. coli O145 outbreak announced on the USDA Investigation Outbreak table was also not solved but may have been linked to ground beef.

Symptoms of a STEC infection include a mild fever, nausea, vomiting, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is usually bloody or watery. This infection can lead to a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, especially in children under the age of five. Symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, pale skin, lethargy, and easy bruising. Anyone experiencing these symptoms should see a doctor.

The Food Poisoning Attorneys At Pritzker Hageman 1-888-377-8900

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

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