June 19, 2024

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...]

E. coli O103 Outbreak in Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana

The E. coli O103 outbreak originally announced in Kentucky yesterday apparently also has sickened people living in Tennessee, Ohio, and Indiana, according to news reports. Twenty confirmed cases are in Kentucky, and one each in the other states for a total of 23 ill. Most of the illnesses occurred between March 5 and 25, 2019. The cases in Kentucky are spread among several counties throughout the state. Fayette county, in the northeastern part of the state, has the most cases with five. But officials say there isn't enough commonality between those five cases to establish a source of the pathogen. No source, whether food or venue, has been named in this outbreak, but officials in Kentucky have stated that "extensive exposure to fast food" may be linked to these illnesses. Fast … [Read more...]

Twenty Sick with E. coli O103 in Kentucky

The Kentucky Department of Public Health told the press on Friday, March 29, 2019, that twenty people in that state have tested positive for E. coli O103. This relatively rare strain of E. coli bacteria causes serious symptoms, just like the more common E. coli O157:H7 pathogen. The source of the outbreak hasn't been identified, but yesterday officials said that the patients had "extensive fast food exposure." That could mean that any chain restaurant could be involved in this outbreak. Six people have been hospitalized because their illness is so critical. No official has said that anyone has developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection (STEC). Since many of those sickened are children, according to yesterday's … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak: History of Fast Food Outbreaks

The Kentucky E. coli O103 outbreak that is linked to fast food and has sickened about 25 people is unusual in that that specific strain of E. coli bacteria doesn't usually cause outbreaks in the U.S. And doctors typically do not test for this pathogen because it is rare. But fast food places are no stranger to outbreaks. Here's a brief history of these events. In 2012, a Salmonella Stanley outbreak that awaits associated with a McDonald's restaurant on South Main Street in Bloomington, Illinois sickened 12 people. In that outbreak officials suspected that an ill restaurant employee may have transmitted the pathogen to customers. In 2015, the fifth-largest multistate food poisoning outbreak of the year was an E. coli outbreak linked to Chipotle restaurants. At least 52 people … [Read more...]

Kentucky E. coli O103 Outbreak Linked to Fast Food Consumption

An E. coli O103 outbreak in Kentucky has been linked to fast food consumption, according to a release from the Kentucky Department for Public Health. The Kentucky E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 19 people. Those illnesses have been confirmed by the Kentucky Department of Public Health. The release is intended for doctors and lab providers, so they are alert to patients who present with acute diarrheal illness. Some news reports state that less than 25 cases have been reported. Those sickened are mostly children and teenagers, but some adults are also part of the outbreak. The cases were reported March 5 though March 25, 2018 and had "extensive exposure to fast food." Most of those sickened live in central Kentucky, especially Fayette County. The Mercer County Health … [Read more...]

Burger King Employee in Danville, KY Diagnosed With Hepatitis A

An employee at the Burger King in Danville, Kentucky has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to Boyle County Health Department Public Health Director Blent Blevins. He told the Danville Advocate-Messenger that while there is minimal risk of contacting the virus from the restaurant, patrons who ate there between December 12, 2018 and January 1, 2019 should think about getting a vaccination. There are two vaccinations for this virus: the hepatitis A vaccine and the immune globulin vaccination. These two vaccinations are given to people depending on their age and health status. Blevins added that there is no indication that anyone who ate at the restaurant has been sick. These vaccinations are effective if given within two weeks of exposure. That means that anyone who ate … [Read more...]

Worker with Hepatitis A at Applebee’s in Winchester, KY

A worker at the Applebee's restaurant at 1525 West Lexington Avenue in Winchester, New York has been diagnosed with hepatitis A, according to a public health advisory posted by the Clark County Health Department. That person worked there from November 14 through November 25, 2018. That means it is too late to get a hepatitis A or immune globulin vaccination, since the shot is only effective if given within two weeks of exposure. If you ate food or drank beverages there during that time period, all you can do is monitor yourself for the symptoms of hepatitis A. Those symptoms include dark urine, lethargy, clay-colored stools, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, stomach pain, nausea, and jaundice, which is yellowing of the eyes and skin. These symptoms can appear anywhere from … [Read more...]

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