May 10, 2021

Seven Children Sick in Seattle E. coli Outbreak: Produce Possible Source

In the Seattle E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least seven children, officials now think that some type of produce is the source of the pathogen, according to Seattle King County Public Health. The case count has not changed. All cases are under the age of 15, with three under the age of five. Officials have identified "multiple types of fresh produce, mostly organic," in most of the cases but they cannot as of yet rule out other possibilities of the source of the illnesses.  The notice states, "We are still uncertain if these cases share the same source of their infection or not." All of the children have symptoms consistent with a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection, which include abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea that is often bloody. Two … [Read more...]

Seven Children Sick in E. coli Outbreak in King County, Washington State

According to a notice posted by the King County Public Health Department, there are seven children sick in an E. coli outbreak in King County. All are under the age of 14, and three  children are under the age of five. Six of the children have been hospitalized. The source of the pathogen has not yet been determined. This new E. coli outbreak in King County has illness onset dates ranging from April 17, 2021 to April 29, 2021. The cases were reported to government officials between April 22, 2021 and May 1, 2021. The investigation is ongoing. Officials have not identified any restaurants, foods, or other sources in common among all of these cases. In fact, investigators do not know if the patients even share the same source of the pathogen. All seven children developed the … [Read more...]

New E. coli O145:H28 Outbreak Sickens 15; Little Information Provided

A new E. coli O145:H28 outbreak has been posted on the FDA's CORE Investigation outbreak table. This new outbreak has sickened at least 15 people. There is no more information provided, which is typical for a posting on that table. The FDA only gives out more information about these outbreaks when they believe there are actionable steps that consumers can take to protect themselves, such as a recall. E. coli O145 is a serotype of E. coli that is part of the Big Six STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) bacteria group that the government started screening for in 2012. This pathogen produces Shiga toxins, which attack red blood cells that die and travel to the kidneys, where they clog small tubes in that organ and can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney … [Read more...]

Investigation of Leafy Greens E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak in Fall 2020

The FDA has released an investigation report into factors that may have contributed to the leafy greens E. coli O157:H7 outbreak in fall 2020 that sickened at least 40 people in 19 states across the country. The outbreak was linked via whole genome sequencing and geography to outbreaks in 2019 and 2018 that were associated to the California growing region.; the proximity of cattle is a likely contributing factor. The outbreak caused 20 hospitalizations. Four people developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of an E. coli infection that is a type of kidney failure. The illness onset dates ranged from August 10 through October 31, 2020. Leafy greens were declared the likely source of this outbreak after interviews with patients. The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak strain … [Read more...]

Three Outbreaks on the FDA CORE Investigation Table; Two Are Unsolved

There are currently three outbreaks on the FDA CORE Investigation Table and two remain unsolved. The first is caused by Salmonella Miami, with 64 sickened and no product or place identified. The second is an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has sickened 16 people, with no product or place identified. And the third is the Listeria monocytogenes outbreak that has sickened 11 people, linked to recalled El Abuelito queso fresco cheese. The number of identified outbreaks continues to be slow. During the pandemic last year, the number of outbreaks was at a real low, with only ten multistate food poisoning outbreaks identified in the entire year. Two of the outbreaks have CDC investigation notices. The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has not been updated since February 2, 2021, but officials seem … [Read more...]

Three Unsolved Multistate Outbreaks on USDA Investigations Table

There are three unsolved multistate outbreaks on the USDA foodborne illness investigation table. This is a companion table to the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table. One is a Listeria monocytogenes outbreak with an unknown source; the second is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O145 outback that may be linked to ground beef; and the third is a Shiga toxin-producing E. coil o157:H7 outbreak with an unknown source.   The E. coli O157:H7 outbreak was announced by the CDC yesterday. There are sixteen people in five states sickened in that outbreak. The USDA and FDA are investigating, which means that any type of food could be connected to the outbreak. Nine people have been hospitalized, which is a very high rate for this type of outbreak, and one person in Washington has … [Read more...]

Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Second Highest in Nation

The Oklahoma E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, which is part of the national outbreak the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced yesterday, is the second highest in the nation with five out of sixteen total sick. Officials are concerned about this outbreak because of fast growth and a high hospitalization rate of 56%. That is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for the average E. coli O157:H7 outbreak. In addition, three people have been diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. That rate of 19% is also much higher than the average 4% rate of HUS development in E. coli outbreaks. The CDC is warning people that if they have severe symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak they should immediately … [Read more...]

Six in Arkansas Sick in Deadly Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak

Arkansas is hard hit in the deadly mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that was announced yesterday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Six people are sick in Arkansas, out of 16 in the entire country. This outbreak is unusual because the CDC investigation notice stated that the agency is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses. Nine of the sixteen patients have been hospitalized for a rate of 56%; that is much higher than the typical 30% hospitalization rate for this type of outbreak. And three of those patients have been diagnosed with HUS, a type of kidney failure. There is no information about what food may have caused this outbreak; we also do not know if any restaurant or supermarket is involved. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been … [Read more...]

Second Mystery E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Over After Sickening 40

The second mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, also known as Unknown Source 2, which has been linked to leafy greens, is now over, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This is the number six multistate outbreak of 2020, with 40 people sick in 19 states. Unfortunately, a specific type or brand of leafy greens was not identified as the source of this outbreak. This outbreak is different from the other two mystery E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks that occurred at the same time: Unknown Source 1 which was the number 8 outbreak of 2020, and Unknown Source 3 which was the number 9 outbreak of 2020. The patient case count by state is: Arizona (2), California (6), Illinois (2), Indiana (1), Kansas (4), Michigan (3), Minnesota (2), Missouri (3), North Dakota (4), Ohio … [Read more...]

Secret E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens 21, Hospitalizes 8, Kills 1

A secret E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened 21 people, hospitalized 8, and killed one person living in Michigan, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This outbreak was announced late last night. It is one of two outbreaks announced at the same time that may have connections to leafy greens. The patient case count by state is: California (7), Florida (1), Illinois (1), Michigan (2), New Jersey (1), Ohio (7), Utah (1), and Wisconsin (1). Illness onset dates range from June 6, 2020 to October 5, 2020. The patient age range is from 2 to 75 years. Fifty percent of ill persons who gave information to investigators were hospitalized. One person developed HUS, and one death was reported from Michigan. Investigators have identified and illness cluster at a … [Read more...]

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