December 10, 2022

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in King County, Washington Sickens 7

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in King County, Washington state has sickened at least seven people, according to the King County Department of Public Health. The notice stated that “at this time, this outbreak does not appear to be related to a multistate outbreak initially found in at least four different states.”

E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in King County, Washington Sickens 7

Four people have been hospitalized, and three children have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Six of the patients have recovered, and one is currently recovering.

The patient age range is from 11 months to 35 years. Five cases are among children under the age of 15. The illness onset date is from December 31, 2021 to August 18 2022, with six of the cases reported since June 26, 2022. Six of the seven patients had illness onset dates from June 20 to August 1, 2022. All seven patients are from East African communities.

Most of the ill people have reported eating multiple types of meat, include goat and ground beef, before they got sick. Investigators say that they cannot rule out other possible sources. Whole genome sequencing indicates that all seven patients are sick with the same genetic strain, which means they likely have a common source of infection.

Public health officials are conducting interviews with the patients, or their parents or guardians, to identify common exposures. County officials are working with the Washington State Department of Health for testing, to identify related cases in other counties, and to begin traceback of products.

Raw meats like ground beef, goat, and lamb can be contaminated with pathogens like E. coli that can make you very sick. To be safe, never eat raw or undercooked meats, especially ground meats, which can have pathogens mixed all through them. Cook meat to a safe final internal temperature, which is 145°F for solid cuts and 160°F for beef, lamb, pork, and goat. Ground chicken and turkey should be cooked to 165°F as measured with a food thermometer.

If you have been sick with the symptoms of an E. coli infection or HUS, see your doctor. You may be part of this E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in King County.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you or a family member have been sickened with an E. coli O157:H7 infection or HUS, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores and food processors.

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