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CDC investigates 29-case E. coli outbreak across Michigan and Ohio

CDC investigates 29 cases of E. coli outbreak in Michigan and Ohio that caused nine hospitalizations: Officials have NOT yet determined which food is the source

  • Nine patients have been hospitalized so far, but none have died from the disease
  • Cases have been recorded for two weeks through Aug. 8, the CDC said, but no deaths have been reported
  • Health officials have yet to discover a source for the outbreak
  • But the bacteria is usually found lurking in ground beef or unpasteurized milk. It may also be present in other foods, including cake mixes

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

In a warning, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said nine of the patients had been hospitalized in the two weeks to Aug. 8 after becoming infected. No deaths have been reported.

Health officials have yet to discover the source of the outbreak, but it is thought to be linked to a food item. The bacteria is caught by ingesting contaminated food, including ground beef, unpasteurized milk or even salad packs.

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

It comes after more than 120,000 pounds of ground beef were recalled in April over fears they were contaminated with E. coli. Last year, four outbreaks were reported in, among other things, packaged salads and cake mixes.

The map above shows the two states that E. coli detected in the latest outbreak.  It's Michigan and Ohio

The map above shows the two states that E. coli detected in the latest outbreak. It’s Michigan and Ohio

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

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

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

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 discovered in the coming days and weeks as officials work to identify the source.

To determine which foods may be triggering the outbreak, patients are interviewed about what they ate in the week before they got sick.

If a food item is identified, researchers can recall the product.

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

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

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

The US Food Safety and Inspection Service recalled 120,000 pounds of ground beef in April over fears 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 gut of healthy people and animals.

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

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

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

This is a condition in which there is an abnormal destruction of platelets and red blood cells.

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

There is currently no treatment to treat these infections. They usually go away within a week, but medical professionals recommend resting and drinking fluids to prevent dehydration and fatigue.

In most cases, people recover within a week or so, but in rare cases, they can develop a more serious illness that requires hospital care.

Patients can develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which involves abnormal destruction of platelets and red blood cells.

These can then clog the kidney’s filtering system, causing the organ to fail — causing a potentially life-threatening situation.

In April this year, more than 120,000 pounds of ground beef was recalled over fears it was contaminated with E. coli.

The U.S. Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) urged people with Naturally Better, Nature’s Reserve, or Thomas Farms-labeled hamburgers and ground beef in their refrigerator to throw it away or return it to the store.

There have been no reports of people getting sick or experiencing any side effects after accidentally eating the contaminated meat.

But the bacteria had been discovered during routine testing in a production facility.

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

Three of these were with the strain O157:H7.

The outbreaks resulted in a total of 63 cases, of which 26 people were hospitalized.

Two died from their infection.

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

But of these cases, it says only about 36 percent — or 95,400 — is related to the stress most likely to make you sick.

Many people who become infected with the bacteria do not seek medical attention unless they have to be hospitalized.

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