Southeast States Affected by Latest E. coli Outbreak; Source Unknown
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirms that at least fourteen people in six states have become ill in the latest outbreak of E. coli, though its source has yet to be found.
The reported illnesses date back to April 15, 2012. The most recent case was reported on June 4, 2012. Sadly, the E. coli outbreak has already taken the life on a child in New Orleans. Public health officials have interviewed victims about where they've been and what they've eaten in an attempt to pinpoint a single source.
The strain of E. coli connected to the current outbreak, 0145, is one of the more serious and potentially dangerous strains of the common bacteria. Symptoms of the infection include fever, severe abdominal pain and stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea.
While no cases have been reported in North Carolina, 13 of the 14 known cases were in southeastern states including Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama. There has been one reported case in California. The ages of those affected range from 1 to 79.
To help avoid becoming sick from the bacteria, health officials say to wash your hands regularly with warm water, make certain that all meat is cooked thoroughly, and avoid unpasteurized milk and ciders.