December 9, 2022

Oklahoma Campylobacter and E. coli Outbreak Sickens Residents

An Oklahoma Campylobacter and E. coli outbreak has sickened residents in several cities, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health (ODSH). This outbreak was originally identified on October 25, 2022 in Hydro county, especially the city of Weatherford, but OSDH and local county health departments have been working with other partners to conduct tests and found more patients. No possible cause of these illnesses has been named.

Oklahoma Campylobacter and E. coli Outbreak Sickens Residents

Public health officials are asking residents of Custer county and Hydro, Hinton, and Lookeba residents to fill out a survey, which is being shared through the local Emergency Alert System. They hope that this information will help find more patients who may not have been to a doctor, as well as get information about difference in activities between people who are sick and those who are not. The information is secure and will only be used for the purpose of determining a cause of illness.

The survey should be completed for each person in each household. Jolianne Stone, Oklahoma state epidemiologist said in a statement, “This type of survey is extremely useful when investigating the cause of illness. The task of identifying a source is rigorous and we are diligently working to use all resources available to help pinpoint the cause. We appreciate the public’s help and patience as we work to find the source.”

Most of these types of outbreaks are linked to contaminated food, especially raw milk, undercooked meat, raw poultry and pork, and produce, especially leafy greens, as well as contaminated water. Cross-contamination between raw meats and kitchen surfaces is another avenue for transmission. Person-to-person transmission can happen, although it is more rare.

Symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) illness usually begin a few days after infection. Patients experience a mild fever, nausea and vomiting, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is bloody. Symptoms of a Campylobacter infection are similar, with bloody diarrhea, fever, and painful abdominal cramps.

Complications of these infections can be serious. For STEC, hemolytic uremic syndrome or HUS, a type of kidney failure, can start about a week after the E. coli illness. This complication is usually limited to children. Symptoms include little or no urine output, lethargy, and pale skin. Guillain-Barré syndrome is a serious Campylobacter infection, which can cause paralysis.

If you  live in Oklahoma and are experiencing any of these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Oklahoma Campylobacter and E. coli outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been diagnosed with a Campylobacter or E. coli infection, 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, restaurants, and food processors.

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