According to the CDC, 70 persons infected with a strain of E. coli O157:H7 with a particular DNA fingerprint (Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis – PFGE) have been reported from 30 states. Ill persons range in age from 2 to 65 years; however, 66% are less than 19 years old; 75% are female. Thirty persons have been hospitalized, 7 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Interestingly, this PFGE pattern has been seen on PulseNet before with over 300 being seen in last four years.
Of 70 linked in this outbreak, 41 have been confirmed by an advanced DNA test (likely MLVA, or Multiple Loci VNTR Analysis) as having the outbreak strain; these confirmatory test results are pending on the others. Most patients reported eating refrigerated prepackaged Nestle Toll House cookie dough products raw.
The number of ill persons identified in each state is as follows: Arizona (2), California (3), Colorado (5), Connecticut (1), Delaware (1), Georgia (1), Hawaii (1), Iowa (2), Illinois (5), Kentucky (3), Massachusetts (4), Maryland (2), Maine (3), Minnesota (6), Missouri (2), Montana (1), North Carolina (2), New Hampshire (2), New Jersey (1), Nevada (2), Ohio (3), Oklahoma (1), Oregon (1), Pennsylvania (2), South Carolina (1), Texas (3), Utah (2), Virginia (2), Washington (5), and Wisconsin (1).
We have been contacted by over a dozen culture-confirmed cases in the last few weeks. We filed suit yesterday in California on behalf of and 18 year old young woman hospitalized for seven days and will be filing this morning on behalf of a Colorado 6 year old who developed HUS – acute kidney failure.