April 20, 2024

University of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Sickens 42, Hospitalizes 4

The University of Arkansas E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 42 people and hospitalized four, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). The agency said that the outbreak seems to be past its peak, since no new patients have reported symptoms since August 25, 2023.

University of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Sickens 42, Hospitalizes 4

As part of their investigation, the ADH sent a survey to people in northwest Arkansas and received 3,200 responses. So far, 37 patients are probable cases based on reported symptoms, while five patients are confirmed cases with positive test results.

It has been reported that five patients were hospitalized. But the ADH stated that a previous hospitalization has been ruled out as part of the outbreak. Two patients remain in the hospital as of August 31, 2023.

So far, officials do not know what may have caused this outbreak, and their investigation does not point to “a clear food source” at this time. Food sample test results are still outstanding. And ADH confirms that they do not think the outbreak is connected to the university’s public dining facilities.

The agency stressed that since E. coli infections can be passed person-to-person, it’s important that people living in the area practice proper hygiene at all times. That means washing your hands often, especially after using the bathroom and before preparing food and eating. And stay home from work or school if you are sick, especially with a diarrheal illness.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection usually start three to seven days after infection. The main symptoms include severe abdominal pain and cramps and diarrhea that is bloody. Some people may experience a mild fever along with nausea and vomiting. You should seek medical attention if you have diarrhea along with a fever higher than 102°F, diarrhea for more than three days that isn’t improving, bloody diarrhea, so much vomiting that you can’t keep liquids down, and signs of dehydration, including a dry mouth and throat and dizziness when standing up.

In some patients, this infection can develop into a serious and potentially life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a type of kidney failure. Symptoms of HUS include decreased urination, pale skin, lethargy, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose and mouth. Anyone experiencing those symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately.

If you have been ill and you live in northwestern Arkansas, see your doctor. You may be part of this University of Arkansas E. coli outbreak.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with an E. coli 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, restaurants, and food processors.


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