Report: No cause found for E. coli O145 outbreak

E. coli

No source has been found for an E. coli outbreak that sickened more than a dozen people and claimed the life of a toddler, according to the final report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The report, published July 20, lists the final number of people sickened by the outbreak at 18 across nine states. Four people were hospitalized and one person, a 21-month-old Louisiana girl, died. The onset of illness ranged from April 15 to June 12, according to the report. Most of the cases were concentrated in the southern U.S. with Georgia and Louisiana each presenting with five cases. The breakdown of cases by location is:

  • Georgia – 5
  • Louisiana –5
  • Alabama –2
  • Florida – 1
  • Kentucky – 1
  • Tennessee –1
  • Virginia –1
  • Maryland –1
  • California –1

E. coli O145 belongs to a group called Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, or STECs. They can cause severe illness, such as bloody diarrhea and hemolytic uremic syndrome, a type of kidney failure. The confirmation of the outbreak followed the implementation of new testing requirements for six non-O157 STECS (O145, O26, O45, O103, O111 and O121) which started June 4. Like E. coli O157:H7, these six STECs now are considered adulterants. Food contaminated with these strains is considered to be unfit for human consumption.

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