October 27, 2021

Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Sickens Ten; Two Have HUS

A Kentucky E. coli O157:H7 outbreak has sickened at least ten people, according to a Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services Facebook post. There is nothing posted on the official website about this outbreak. Public health investigators have not yet identified the source of this outbreak, but they think that some sort of food is likely. That's typical for an E. coli outbreak. Most of those sickened are adults. And most live in western Kentucky. Six people have been hospitalized because they are so sick. Healthcare providers have been notified about this outbreak so they are aware of symptoms and do not prescribe antibiotics if someone presents with the symptoms of this infection. State health officials are working with staff at local health departments in the counties … [Read more...]

FDA Releases Romaine Lettuce Sampling Findings From Yuma, AZ

The FDA is releasing results from its romaine lettuce sampling findings from the Yuma, Arizona area. Lettuce from that area was linked to a deadly E .coli O157:H7 outbreak that killed five and sickened 210 people. Ninety-six people were hospitalized because they were so ill. And twenty-seven patients developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure that is a complication of an E. coli infection. The FDA collected and tested romaine lettuce from commercial coolers in Yuma County, Arizona during February and March 2021. The lettuce was tested for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria, specifically enterohemorrhagic E. coli (EHEC), and Salmonella.  This sampling program was part of the agency's surveillance after several multistate E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks … [Read more...]

Cake Mix E. coli Outbreak Ends With 16 Sick in 12 States

The cake mix E. coli outbreak has ended as of September 16, 2021, with 16 people sick in 12 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A common brand of cake mix that made people sick was not identified. And no illnesses have been reported for seven weeks. The case count by state is: Illinois (2), Indiana (1), Iowa (2), Massachusetts (1), Michigan (1), Nebraska (2), Ohio (2), Oregon (1), South Carolina (1), Utah (1), Virginia (1), and Washington (1). Seven people were hospitalized. The patient age range is from 2 t0 73 years, with a median age of 13. The age range for outbreaks linked to baking ingredients usually skews young; 75% of children in this outbreak are under the age of 18. One person developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of … [Read more...]

Jackson County Oregon E. coli Outbreak Update: 16 Sick, 12 Hospitalized

The Jackson County E. coli outbreak has been updated by the Jackson County Department of Health in their September 2021 Flash Report.  The number of cases remains at 16, with 12 patients hospitalized. There has been no change in the number of patients since the last update in late August, 2021. However, there is more information in this update about the patients themselves. The patient age range is from 11 months to 65 years, with the median age 23.5 years. Most of those sickened are in their teens and twenties, and most are male. County health officials are working with the Oregon Health Authority on this Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) outbreak. There is still not a definitive hypothesis on the source of infection. Genome sequencing has been completed on patient isolates, … [Read more...]

E. coli Jackson County Outbreak Sickens 16, Hospitalizes 12

The E. coli Jackson County outbreak has now sickened 16 people, according to a new notice from Jackson County Public Health. That is an increase of one more patient since the last update on August 25, 2021. This Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak has hospitalized 12 of those patients, for a hospitalization rate of 75%, which is extremely high for this type of outbreak. Most of the patients are in their teens and twenties. These numbers have been reported to the county since August 8, 2021. Jackson County Public Health is working with the Oregon Health Authority on this investigation. Dr. Jim Shames, Health Officer for Jackson County Public Health said in a statement, "Right now, we do not have a definitive hypothesis on what the source of infection may be. The genome sequencing, … [Read more...]

Active Food Poisoning Outbreak Investigations From FDA and USDA

What are the current active food poisoning outbreak investigations that the FDA and USDA are investigating? While there have been several outbreak investigations that have closed, there are still six open investigations on the FDA Outbreak Table, and one, possibly two, investigations on the USDA Table. On the FDA Table, there are two cyclospora outbreak investigations. Neither has any product linked to it. The first outbreak has 37 patients, an increase of two more patients since the last update 12 days ago. Traceback has been initiated, but there has been no on-site inspection, no sample collection, and no analysis. The second cyclospora outbreak has 119 patients, an increase of one patient since the last update. Traceback has begun, on-site inspection has been initiated, and … [Read more...]

Jackson County E. coli Outbreak Sickens 15 in Oregon; 10 Hospitalized

A Jackson County E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 15 people, according to a Flash Report from the Jackson County Health Department in Oregon and news outlets. The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cases have been occurring since August 1, 2021. Ten people are hospitalized, including several children. There is no indication yet what has caused these illnesses. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been linked to romaine lettuce, cake mix, flour, raw sprouts, restaurants, yogurt, raw milk, and ground beef. Officials are asking healthcare providers in the area to be aware of the increases in this type of illness. They are also asking doctors to refrain from treating any patients who present with gastrointestinal illnesses with antibiotics. When given to STEC patients, … [Read more...]

When Should You Call the Doctor If You Have Food Poisoning?

We talk about food poisoning all the time on this site. We have told you about the different pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes, what foods they are likely to contaminate, and the symptoms of the infections those pathogens cause. But there's one question that needs to be answered: When should you call the doctor if you have food poisoning?   Of course, call your doctor if you are worried about anything pertaining to your health. But there are specific symptoms that the government says you should look for when you have food poisoning that should trigger an immediate call. First of all, there are certain groups that should always call if they contract a food poisoning infection. They include adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, parents … [Read more...]

Possible E. coli Outbreak at Portillo’s Restaurant in Glendale Heights, Illinois

A possible E. coli outbreak at Portillo's restaurant in Glendale Heights, Illinois may have sickened four people, according to news reports. There is no information about this potential outbreak on the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website. Portillo's management has stated that they are cooperating with the investigation. The Chicago Tribune reports that IDPH stated in a health alert, "Four cases of a toxin producing the bacteria and one case of a resultant blood syndrome stemmed from customers eating at [the restaurant]." That most likely means that four people have E. coli infections and one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. The patients allegedly ate at the restaurant, which is located at 235 East North … [Read more...]

Sampling Conducted in Multistate Cake Mix E. coli Outbreak

Sampling and analysis has been conducted in the ongoing multistate cake mix E. coli outbreak, according to an update on the FDA's Core Outbreak Investigation Table.  The government has also conducted traceback and has conducted an on-site inspection. Still, there is no word on any possible brand names in this outbreak. Sixteen people in twelve states are ill in this outbreak. Seven people have been hospitalized, and one person has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. No recall has been issued. And sadly, the median age in this outbreak is just 13, most likely because kids love to eat uncooked batter and dough. The cake mix that is linked to this outbreak may be a national brand, since illnesses are spread all across the country, from … [Read more...]

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