CDC is collaborating with public health officials in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) to investigate a multistate outbreak of human infections due to E. coli O157:H7. This is a rare strain of E. coli O157:H7 that has never been seen before in the PulseNet database. PulseNet is the national subtyping network made up of state and local public health laboratories and federal food regulatory laboratories that performs molecular surveillance of foodborne infections.
Twenty-five persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from five states. The number of ill persons identified in each state with this strain is as follows: AZ (11), CA (1), CO (8), NM (3) and NV (2). Dates of illness onset range from October 16, 2010 through October 24, 2010. Patients range in age from 2 to 81 years and the median age is 14 years.
Preliminary laboratory testing conducted on an opened package of Bravo Farms Dutch Style Gouda Cheese purchased at Costco from a case patient’s home has indicated the presence of E. coli O157:H7.