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CDC is investigating 29 E. coli outbreaks in Michigan and Ohio

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CDC investigates 29 E. coli outbreaks in Michigan, Ohio that caused nine hospitalizations: Officials still don’t know what food is the source

  • So far, nine patients have been hospitalized, but none have died from the disease
  • Cases were reported in the two weeks through Aug. 8, the CDC said, but no deaths were reported
  • Health officials have not yet identified the source of the infection
  • However, the bacteria are usually found in ground beef or unpasteurized milk. It may also be present in other foods including cake mixes

Twenty-nine people have been infected with E. coli in Michigan and Ohio in the latest outbreak to hit the United States, health officials said Wednesday.

In an alert, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said nine patients were hospitalized after being infected in the two weeks to August 8. No deaths were reported.

Health officials have not yet determined the source of the outbreak, but it is believed to be food-related. The bacteria is picked up by eating contaminated food, which can include ground beef, unpasteurized milk, or even salad packets.

An estimated 265,000 Americans are infected with E.coli each year, suffering symptoms including bloody diarrhea and vomiting. About 100 people die from this disease every year.

This comes after more than 120,000 pounds of ground beef was recalled again in April due to concerns that it was contaminated with E. coli. Last year, four outbreaks were reported in items including prepackaged salads and cake mixes.

This shows the number of cases detected over time.  The CDC says this is likely to increase as more cases are discovered.  They currently date until August 6

This shows the number of cases detected over time. The CDC says this is likely to increase as more cases are discovered. They currently date until August 6

Testing by the CDC revealed that all patients were infected with the O157:H7 strain, the most common strain that causes severe intestinal infection in humans.

Each patient’s bacteria are closely related, suggesting that “people in this outbreak got sick from the same food,” the CDC said.

More cases are expected to be uncovered in the coming days and weeks as officials work to identify the source.

To find out which foods can cause an outbreak, patients are asked about what they ate in the week before they got sick.

Should the food be identified, investigators may re-call the product.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled 120,000 pounds of ground beef in April over concerns it was contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled 120,000 pounds of ground beef in April over concerns it was contaminated with E. coli.

WHAT IS E. COLI AND WHY IS IT DANGEROUS?

E. coli (Escherichia coli) are bacteria that generally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals.

Infections can occur after contact with human or animal feces, eating contaminated food, or drinking contaminated water.

Symptoms of E. coli infection include bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting.

In rare cases, patients may develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

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It is a condition in which platelets and red blood cells are destroyed abnormally.

According to the Mayo Clinic, damaged blood cells can clog the kidney’s filtration system, resulting in life-threatening kidney failure.

There is currently no treatment for these infections. It usually goes away within a week, but doctors recommend resting and drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

In most cases, people recover within about a week, but rarely they may develop a more serious illness requiring hospital care.

Patients may develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), where platelets and red blood cells are destroyed abnormally.

These can then clog the kidney’s filtration system, leading to organ failure – and creating a potentially life-threatening situation.

This past April, more than 120,000 pounds of ground beef was recalled due to concerns that it was contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) urged people who have hamburgers and ground meat in their refrigerator labeled Naturally Better, Nature’s Reserve or Thomas Farms to throw them away or take them back to the store.

There have been no reports of people becoming ill or suffering an adverse reaction after accidentally eating contaminated meat.

But the bacteria were detected at the manufacturing plant during routine testing.

Last year, the CDC battled four outbreaks of E. coli.

Three of them were with the O157:H7 strain.

As a result of the outbreak, a total of 63 cases were recorded, of which 26 people were hospitalized.

Two died of infection.

The CDC estimates that 265,000 Americans contract it annually in response to a question about how common the disease is.

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But of those cases, it says, only about 36 percent — or 95,400 — involve the strain most likely to make you sick.

Many people who contract the bacteria do not seek medical attention unless they need to be hospitalized.

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