April 14, 2021

Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Second Highest in Nation

The Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which is part of the national outbreak the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday, is the second highest in the nation with five out of sixteen total sick. Officials are concerned about this outbreak because of fast growth and a high hospitalization rate of 56%. That is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for the average E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Second Highest in Nation

In addition, three people have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. That rate of 19% is also much higher than the average 4% rate of HUS development in E. coli outbreaks.

The CDC is warning people that if they have severe symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak they should immediately contact their doctor. Those severe symptoms include diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F; diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving; bloody diarrhea; so much vomiting that you can’t keep liquids down; and signs of dehydration, including not urinating, a dry mouth and throat, and feeling dizzy when you stand up.

If you do have those symptoms, it will help your doctor and investigators if you take some time to write down what you ate the week before you got sick. And also answer public health officials’ questions about your illness. If you have been ill, you may be part of this Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 outbreak.

At this point, there is no information about what food may be responsible for this outbreak. Because the illnesses are so widespread across the country, with ill persons in Washington, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New York, and Virginia, the odds are better that some type of food with a wide distribution is the culprit.

In the past few years, E. coli outbreaks have been linked to romaine lettuce, raw sprouts, and soy nut butter. So the contaminated food could be just about anything.

For now, all consumers can do is to watch for symptoms and to follow basic food safety advice. Always cook ground beef to a final internal temperature of 160°F. Handle raw meats carefully and always wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after touching them. Rinse all produce under clear running water and dry with paper towels before eating or preparing them. And be alert for the symptoms of an E. coli infection.

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

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

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