So far 29 people have been sickened, with 14 cases in Ohio and 15 cases in Michigan. The CDC believes the number of people sickened in the outbreak is actually higher, as health officials work to determine if some people who have fallen ill have infections linked to the outbreak.
While the outbreak hasn’t been linked to food yet, PulseNet, a CDC system that contains a national database of DNA fingerprints of bacteria that cause foodborne illnesses. Some preliminary information indicates that the people who have been confirmed to be sick with this strain of E.coli got it from the same food, investigators just don’t know what that food is yet.
State and local health officials are interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick to determine the source.
- Symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. Some people may have a fever, which usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C).
- Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.
- Most people with a STEC infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure.
- Contact your healthcare provider if you have severe symptoms of E. coli, such as diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, bloody diarrhea, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and are not peeing much.