July 20, 2019

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Case Count Stands at 65, 8 Hospitalized

The Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak that is linked to ground beef is now at 65 confirmed cases. Eight people have been hospitalized, and none have developed HUS. Barbara Fox, Public Information Officer for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services in that state gave this information to Food Poisoning Bulletin. This outbreak started in Kentucky, when public health officials found that 20 people were sick with the same strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli bacteria in late March 2019.  The outbreak has grown by leaps and bounds. With information we now have, we know that at least 131 people in 6 states are sick. The case count by state is: Indiana (1), Georgia (27), Kentucky (65), Ohio (7), Tennessee (28), and Virginia (2). The patient age range is from less than 1 to 83, but the … [Read more...]

Georgia E. coli O103 Outbreak: 27 Are Now Sick

The Georgia E. coli O103 outbreak that is linked to ground beef has now sickened 27 people, Nancy Nydam of the Georgia Department of Public Health told Food Poisoning Bulletin. That is an increase of 10 cases since the last update by the CDC, which released on April 12, 2019. The press release about this outbreak issued by Georgia is from 12 days ago, and only lists 17 illness. Three people in Georgia are hospitalized. No one has developed HUS, and there are no deaths. This outbreak began with patients diagnosed in Kentucky in late March 2019, and has grown explosively over the past few weeks. Originally, 20 people were diagnosed in Kentucky, with a few in other states. When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention got involved, the cases jumped up to 109. At first, the … [Read more...]

Lawyer Asks: Why Are There Ground Beef E. coli Outbreaks?

This afternoon, amidst the ongoing ground beef E. coli O103 outbreak affecting much of the east-central United States, I began my weekly meal preparation ritual. I went to the freezer and grabbed two pounds of frozen ground beef, defrosted it, and put it in a frying pan to brown. My family of four goes through so much ground beef that I regularly fill my freezer with a “quarter of beef” raised by my father and processed by a local butcher shop. We live on it. My family’s subsistence on ground beef is not uncommon. For 2018, Americans were projected to eat 222.2 pounds of meat and poultry, each. According to the self-proclaimed “best information source” of the beef industry, Beef2Live.com: “Ground beef is the most widely consumed beef product among American consumers. It is estimated … [Read more...]

Georgia Hard Hit by Mystery E. coli O103 Outbreak

Georgia has been hard hit by the mystery E. coli O103 outbreak that has sickened at least 96 people in 5 states. Public health officials still do not know what is causing these illnesses. At least 17 people are sick in Georgia, with three in the hospital because their illnesses are so serious. Others are ill in Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. This outbreak was first announced by the Kentucky Department of Health on March 29, 2019, with 20 sick. It has grown very quickly, more than quadrupling in size in 11 days. Officials have not yet said if any food or restaurant or grocery stores is connected to this outbreak. Some news reports stated that fast food may be associated with the illnesses, or some type of food delivery system. Other rumors that have floated around … [Read more...]

E. coli O103 Outbreak Sickens 96 in 5 States; No Source Found

An E. coli O103 outbreak sickens 96 in 5 states, according to the CDC. The outbreak was first announced less than two weeks ago and the number of patients has more than quadrupled in 10 days. Eleven people have been hospitalized. No one has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of this illness The investigation is still ongoing. No food, restaurant, grocery store, or other source has been identified. Previous reports had mentioned fast food restaurants as a possible source, in addition to foods such as ground beef. But the CDC is not recommending that consumers avoid any food or outlet. The case count by state is: Georgia (17), Kentucky (46), Ohio (5), Tennessee (26), and Virginia (2). The patient age range is from 1 to 81 … [Read more...]

Twenty-One Sick in Tennessee E. coli O103 Outbreak

Twenty-one people are sick in the Tennessee E. coli O103 outbreak that has also sickened people in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, and Virginia. The outbreak was first noticed in Kentucky in late March 2019. The cases exploded in one week from 20 sick to more than 72. And officials do not know what caused this outbreak. There has been no mention by public health officials about possible sources, although news reports have mentioned ground beef, chicken, and American cheese. What officials have said is that they think exposure to fast food may be associated with this outbreak; if not fast food, then some other type of food distribution system, since the illnesses are so widespread. It's unusual that so many people are sick with the same strain of pathogen and  no one knows the source. To … [Read more...]

E. coli O103 Outbreak Sickens 72 in 5 States; 8 Hospitalized

The E. coli O103 outbreak that started in Kentucky last week, with 20 sick, has exploded into an outbreak that has sickened at least 72 people in 5 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Those illnesses are confirmed. Eight people have been hospitalized. Barbara Fox, Public Information Officer with the Cabinet for Health and Family Affairs in Kentucky, told Food Poisoning Bulletin that 46 are sick in Kentucky, with 6 hospitalized. No source, such as a restaurant or grocery store, and no food, such as ground beef, lettuce, or sprouts, has been named yet.   In addition, no patients have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection that can cause kidney failure. That … [Read more...]

Now 44 Sick in Unsolved Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak

At least 44 people who live in 24 Kentucky counties have lab-confirmed E. coli O103 infections, according to information from the Madison County Health Department in that state. Three of those patients live in Madison County. This information about this E. coli O103 outbreak was transmitted from the Kentucky Department of Public Health in an online meeting. The age range of patients is from 1 to 81 years, with a median age of 18. Twenty-five patients are female, and 19 are male. Six people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Cases have also been reported in Ohio, Tennessee, and Georgia. Public health officials are working to solve this outbreak. What we know is that they have not identified a specific food or restaurant, but the fact that this outbreak is so … [Read more...]

Is Ground Beef the Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Culprit?

The E. coli O103 outbreak in Kentucky is rare because this pathogen doesn't cause many illnesses in the United States. But at least 46 people in Kentucky and more in four other states are sick; and officials don't know what caused this outbreak. They may have narrowed down the possibilities. Is ground beef the Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak culprit? News outlets have stated that officials are looking at ground beef, as well as chicken and American cheese; however, no officials have confirmed this information. Testing is ongoing, and may take a few days or a few weeks to complete. Contaminated ground beef has been the cause for E. coli outbreaks for many years, including the outbreak last year that was linked to Adams Farm Slaughterhouse, and ground beef produced by PT Farm in New … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Rises to 44 Sick, TN, OH, GA Included

The Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak has now risen to 44 sick, as of April 3, 2019, according to news reports. Six people have been hospitalized in this outbreak, but there is no mention if any have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that can cause strokes. And there are 20 pending cases that are not yet lab-confirmed. The only official report to date from Kentucky Department of Health lists the outbreak total as 20, but that was posted on Friday, March 29, 2019. This is the largest E. coli outbreak in Kentucky since 2000. Dr. Mel Bennett, who heads Kentucky's infectious disease efforts, told WEKU that the outbreak has spread to Tennessee, Ohio, and Georgia. We do not know how many people are sickened in each of those states. Officials still think … [Read more...]

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