CDC Is Investigating An E. Coli Outbreak

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The CDC confirmed the outbreak this week, but said the source of the bacterial infection is still unclear.

CDC reports that illnesses started being reported on March 22, and that those infected range in age from 12 to 84 years old with a median of 41. Restaurants and retailers are not now advised to avoid serving or selling any particular food. An additional four have been reported in Idaho, and two cases each in CT and Pennsylvania. Thus far six people have been hospitalized, including at least one person who developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Both The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and officials from the Department of Agriculture are assisting them in the investigation.

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Other states reporting outbreaks include Idaho, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Ohio and Washington. While most people recover within a week, however, some develop a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Currently, New Jersey is the state with the most reported outbreaks, six cases of E. coli-related illness affecting residents.

Also, the CDC's experts are working on collecting samples from the affected patient to discover if the same bacteria strain is involved, trying to depict which was the source of this E. Coli widespread in the US.

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The ongoing investigation has not identified a specific food item, grocery store or restaurant chain as the source of the infections.

People are advised to contact their health care provider if they have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days or is accompanied by high fever, blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that they can not keep liquids down and they pass very little urine.

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To prevent infection, the CDC recommends washing your hands frequently, cooking meat thoroughly, washing fruits and vegetables, avoiding unpasteurized dairy and juices, and avoiding preparing meals for others when sick.

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