July 16, 2024

Six in Arkansas Sick in Deadly Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

Arkansas is hard hit in the deadly mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was announced yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people are sick in Arkansas, out of 16 in the entire country.

Six in Arkansas Sick in Deadly Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

This outbreak is unusual because the CDC investigation notice stated that the agency is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses. Nine of the sixteen patients have been hospitalized for a rate of 56%; that is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for this type of outbreak. And three of those patients have been diagnosed with HUS, a type of kidney failure.

There is no information about what food may have caused this outbreak; we also do not know if any restaurant or supermarket is involved. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been linked to romaine lettuce, ground beef, flour, raw sprouts, and soy nut butter. So the lack of information is frustrating for people concerned about this outbreak.

Because this outbreak is so widespread, odds are better that some type of widely distributed food is the culprit rather than a restaurant. The six in Arkansas sick in this outbreak probably were infected with closely related E. coli bacteria, according to PulseNet, the national sub typing laboratory.

The only thing consumers can do is follow basic food safety standards. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling any type of raw meat or eggs. Rinse produce thoroughly under clean running water and dry it with paper towels before you eat it or cut it. And always cook meats, especially ground beef, to a safe final internal temperature of 160°F before you eat it, and check that temperature with a reliable food thermometer.

Symptoms of an E. coli O157:H7 infection include a mild fever, nausea, vomiting, serious and severe abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is typically bloody. Symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, include little urine output, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. If you or anyone you know have been experiencing these symptoms, see a doctor immediately.

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 HUS, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.


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