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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

UPDATE: E. coli O145 Outbreak Sickens 14 in Six States

UPDATE: CDC: Background on Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O145 Infections

As of June 8, 2012 Outbreak information

As of June 8, 2012, there are 14 cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O145 infection with indistinguishable DNA patterns that have been identified in lab samples from persons in 6 states: Alabama (2), California(1), Florida (1), Georgia (5), Louisiana (4), Tennessee (1). The dates when those person’s became ill range from April 15 to May 12, 2012.

Three ill persons have been hospitalized. One death has been reported in Louisiana.

The most recent report of illness was on June 4, 2012. The time from the beginning of a patient’s illness to the confirmation that he or she was part of an outbreak is typically about 2-3 weeks. Case counts during an outbreak investigation are therefore preliminary and must be interpreted within this context.

This ongoing multi-state investigation has not yet identified a source of these infections. The investigation is looking at both food-and non-food exposures are part of the ongoing investigation..

State public health officials are interviewing ill persons to obtain information regarding foods they might have eaten and other exposures in the week before illness.

There is no evidence to suggest the recent death of a child in Louisiana and a child in Massachusetts are related. The patients had different kinds of STEC infection (a different O145 in Louisiana, and O157 in Massachusetts).

Earlier, Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida report cases and the CDC would not reveal which other two states were reporting cases.

CNN’s Miriam Falco reports:

Federal health officials say 14 people in six states have been sickened by the same strain of E. coli over the past couple of months. According to CDC spokeswoman Lola Russell, 14 cases of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O145 infection with the same DNA fingerprint were identified in six states. “Their illness onsets range from April 15 to May 12, 2012,” she said. “Three ill persons have been hospitalized. One death has been reported in Louisiana.” Cases have been reported in Louisiana, Georgia, Alabama and Florida, according to local health departments and media reports.

  • Helane Shields

    The STEC e. coli O145 outbreak, which killed a small child and sickened others, is a strain from human sewage. http://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2010/ecoli_O145/
    In 2010, STEC e. coli O145 was identified on an Arizona farm as the human strain which caused an e. coli outbreak which sickened 33 people. The source was sewage from campers in a nearby RV park which flowed into an irrigation ditch which fed the romaine lettuce farm.
    http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodSafety/FoodborneIllness/ucm235477.htm
    It is risky business to “fertilize” human crops with sewage sludge biosolids, or water them with sewage derived effluent.
    Helane Shields, Alton, NH hshields@tds.net