According to the CDC, fifty-nine people infected with the outbreak strain of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from 15 states and the District of Columbia. Illnesses started on dates ranging from October 5, 2018 to November 16, 2018. Twenty-three people have been hospitalized, including two people who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.  In Canada, as of December 13, 2018, there have been 28 confirmed cases of E. coli illness investigated in Ontario (5), Quebec (19), New Brunswick (1), and British Columbia (3). The illnesses in British Columbia were related to travel to Quebec, Ontario and the United States. Individuals became sick between mid-October and mid-November 2018. Ten individuals have been hospitalized, and two individuals suffered from hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a severe complication that can result from an E. coli infection. No deaths have been reported. Individuals who became ill are between 2 and 93 years of age.

The above numbers will grow.

And, there are the real people I have spoken to in last week related to this outbreak:

  1. Husband with wife in rehabilitation after nearly two-month hospitalized in ICU with HUS.  She is still on dialysis three times a week and will be for rest of her life.
  2. Airline pilot who stopped over in Toronto and has now been hospitalized for weeks in the US with HUS.
  3. Father of Canadian child who ate romaine lettuce while on vacation in California and has been hospitalized with HUS for seven weeks in Vancouver, BC.
  4. Mom tonight who I spoke to as her daughter was undergoing a bowel resection do to E. coli O157:H7.
  5. Another mom whose daughter spent 15 days in the hospital undergoing several blood transfusions after being diagnosed with HUS.

Real people.