The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently investigating a multi-state outbreak of E. coli caused by an unknown food source. More than a dozen people have become ill over five states.
The illnesses linked to the outbreak are thought to have occurred from December 23, 2020, to January 7, 2021. It’s worth noting that more recent illnesses may not yet be reported as it usually takes two to four weeks to link illnesses to an outbreak. So far, 16 people in Arkansas, New York, Oklahoma, Virginia, and Washington state have become ill with E. coli linked to the outbreak, and nine of them have had to be hospitalized. There has been one death associated with the outbreak.
The E. coli outbreak is feared to be ongoing and is still under investigation. Authorities have not yet linked the outbreak to any particular food and no recalls have been issued.
The CDC advises that you should call your healthcare provider immediately if you have diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F, bloody diarrhea, vomiting without being able to keep liquids down, and signs of dehydration, all of which are severe symptoms of E. coli. If you have these signs, you should also try to recall and write down everything you have eaten over the last week before you got sick, as the CDC continues to try to trace the source. Symptoms usually start within three to four days after swallowing the bacteria and most people recover without treatment after five to seven days.
You can read more about E. coli and its symptoms here and more about the outbreak here.
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