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Investigation of Outbreak of Human Infections Caused by E. coli O157:H7

Updated June 24, 2008

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Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 infections – Michigan and Ohio

State departments of health and agriculture in Michigan and Ohio, CDC, and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA-FSIS) are investigating a multi-state outbreak of Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections. Based on this investigation, as of 5pm, June 23, 2008, 24 confirmed cases have been linked both epidemiologically and by molecular fingerprinting to this outbreak, 11 in Michigan and 13 in Ohio. Onset of illness in these patients occurred in late May and early June. Fourteen ill persons have been hospitalized. One patient has developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported. Thirteen (54%) of patients are female. Patients range in age from 9 to 78 years with a median age of 22.5 years.

States with cases of E. coli 0157:H7 infections with the outbreak strain

US States with Outbreak-Associated Cases of E. coli O157, June 2008


During an E. coli outbreak: Carefully follow instructions provided by public health officials on what foods to avoid in order to protect yourself and your family from infection.

Cook all ground beef thoroughly.  Cook ground beef to 160° F. Test the meat by putting a food thermometer in the thickest part of the meat. Do not eat ground beef that is still pink in the middle.

Vegetables should be boiled for at least 1 minute before serving.

Drink only pasteurized milk, juice, or cider. Frozen juice or juice sold in boxes and glass jars at room temperature has been pasteurized, although it may not say so on the label.

Drink water from safe sources like municipal water that has been treated with chlorine, wells that have been tested or bottled water.

Do not swallow lake or pool water while you are swimming.

Don’t spread bacteria in your kitchen. Keep raw meat away from other foods. Wash your hands, cutting board, counter, dishes, and knives and forks with hot soapy water after they touch raw meat, spinach, greens, or sprouts.

If a restaurant serves you an under-cooked hamburger, send it back for more cooking. Ask for a new bun and a clean plate, too.

Never put cooked hamburgers or meat on the plate they were on before cooking. Wash the meat thermometer after use.

See E. coli O157:H7 for more information.

Page last modified: June 24, 2008
Content source: National Center for Zoonotic, Vector-Borne, and Enteric Diseases (ZVED)

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