October 3, 2022

Increase in E. coli Cases in Ottawa County, Michigan Sickens 9

An increase in E. coli cases in Ottawa County, Michigan has sickened at least nine people and hospitalized four, according to the Ottawa Department of Public Health. The pathogen is shiga toxin E. coli (STEC), which is the type that causes serious illness in people, and can trigger hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), especially in young children.

Increase in E. coli Cases in Ottawa County, Michigan Sickens 9

This is a high number of cases for any area. STEC bacteria is usually tied to food poisoning outbreaks. The pathogen lives in the guts of ruminant animals and is excreted in their feces.

There is no word on what officials are investigating, whether it’s a restaurant or some particular type of food. In the past, E. coli outbreaks have been linked to flour, ground beef, raw sprouts, unpasteurized milk, spinach, romaine lettuce, bagged salad greens, spinach, and county fairs.

Ottawa County Health Department officials are working with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development to see if the cases are related.

Epidemiological, traceback, and genetic evidence can tie these cases together. Officials may be interviewing patients to see what they ate before they got sick, and if they visited a fair or someplace with animal attractions. If patient isolates are available, they can be tested to see if the E. coli bacteria that made that person sick is similar, genetically, to other isolates. If so, an outbreak may be declared.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection usually begin a few hours to a few days after ingesting the pathogen. Symptoms include a mild fever, nausea and vomiting, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is often bloody. Most people who contract this infection do see a doctor because the symptoms are so alarming.

If you  live in the area and have been ill with those symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of these E. coli cases in Ottawa county.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

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

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