The CDC estimates that "non-O157 STECs (like O26, O45, 0103, O111, O121, and O145) cause 36,700 illnesses, 1,100 hospitalizations and 30 deaths in America each year."

In speaking about the recent E. coli O145 outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, Patricia M. Griffin, chief of CDC’s Enteric Diseases Epidemiology branch, said it is likely that E. coli O145 has caused previous food poisonings but has gone undetected because only about 5 percent of clinical laboratories are able to detect it. "The fact that we found it now doesn’t mean it wasn’t there before," she said. "The ability to look for the organism in ill people and in outbreaks and food has been increasing. We’re gradually finding more of these organisms."

And, here is the memo to prove it (click image to download):

  • T

    Great summary. I wanted to see if you could provide me with the reference for these statics. The CDC’s memo states that only 1 death is associated with non-O157 (the Oklahoma outbreak in 2008 where a 26 year old {otherwise healthy} man died). If this is what they are reporting, then where is it estimated that there are 30 deaths per year?
    I would also note that due to lack of uniform testing (only about 10% of stool cultures in the US routinely test for non-O157) the CDC’s non-O157 outbreak summary has probably been vastly underestimated.