CDC and FDA investigate multistate outbreak of E. coli infections

Nov. 25, 2019

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), public health and regulatory officials in several states and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are investigating a multistate outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 infections. The source of the outbreak has not yet been determined.

Seventeen people infected with the outbreak strain have been reported from eight states (AZ, CA, CO, ID, MD, MT, WA, WI). Seven hospitalizations have been reported, including two people who have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.

The Maryland Department of Health identified E. coli O157 in an unopened package of Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad collected from a sick person’s home in Maryland. Laboratory testing is ongoing to determine if the E. coli found in the salad is genetically similar to the E. coli found in sick people in this outbreak.

Ill people in Maryland have reported eating Ready Pac Bistro Bowl Chicken Caesar Salad. Ill people in other states have not initially reported eating this particular salad. State partners are conducting interviews with sick people to find out what they ate.

People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of three to four days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps, and vomiting. Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe. Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.

CDC has the release.