In Michigan and Ohio, at least 29 people have been sickened by E. coli due to an outbreak of unknown origin, the CDC says.
Among the 15 cases in Michigan and 14 in Ohio, nine people have been hospitalized but there are no fatalities. The true number of ill people could be much higher, and the disease may not be contained to Ohio and Michigan.
As of yet, no food has been identified as the source of this rapidly spreading outbreak, the CDC said.
The Michigan and Ohio health departments are currently working with the CDC’s PulseNet, which compares DNA fingerprints of different bacterial cases in order to find common links in the outbreaks.
According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, local health departments in the counties of Kent, Ottawa, and Oakland are working on the project.
“E. coli illness usually increases during the warmer summer months, but this significant increase in cases is alarming,” said Natasha Bagdasarian, MD, the chief medical executive at Michigan’s health department. “This is a warning to make sure to follow good practices when it comes to hand hygiene and food handling to prevent foodborne illnesses.”
There have been 98 cases of E. coli reported this August, whereas in 2021 there were only 20 cases. Laboratory results have linked some of those recent cases to each other.
The Ohio Department of Health says the state’s 14 cases occurred in Clermont, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Wood, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning, and Summit counties, WBNS reported.
E. coli is a bacteria that can live in your intestines. People are usually infected by eating contaminated food or water. Constant fatigue, abdominal cramps, nausea, and diarrhea, sometimes bloody, are symptoms common to this condition.
Most people recover from E. coli infections in a few days, although some strains can cause extreme sickness.