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Update on Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 Infections From Fresh Spinach, September 24, 2006

NOTE: This document is provided for historical purposes. The content of this document has not been revised since its original release and therefore may no longer be up to date.

As of 1 PM (ET) September 24, 2006, Sunday, 173 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported to CDC from 25 states.

Among the ill persons, 92 (53%) were hospitalized, 28 (16%) developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and an adult in Wisconsin died.  One hundred twenty-five (72%) were female and 15 (9%) were children under 5 years old. The proportion of persons who developed HUS was 29% in children (<18 years old), 8% in persons 18 to 59 years old, and 16% in persons 60 years old or older.  Among ill persons who provided the date when their illnesses began, 88% became ill between August 19 and September 5. The peak time when illnesses began was August 30 to September 1 -- 35% of persons with the outbreak strain became ill on one of those 3 days.

Two deaths among suspect cases have been reported. Suspect cases are not known to have been infected with the outbreak strain, so are not included in the confirmed case count.  Idaho is investigating a suspect case in a 2-year-old child with HUS who died on September 20 and reportedly had recently consumed fresh spinach.  E. coli O157 has not been detected in the child. Maryland is investigating a suspect case in an elderly woman who died on September 13 and had recently consumed fresh spinach.  E. coli O157 was cultured from her stool, but “DNA fingerprinting” to determine whether it is the outbreak strain has not been possible.

Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL) has isolated E. coli O157 from an opened package of spinach. The package came from the refrigerator of a patient who ate some of the spinach before becoming ill. UPHL completed “DNA fingerprinting” tests yesterday and determined that the “DNA fingerprint” matches that of the outbreak strain. This is the second laboratory in the country to confirm the presence of the E. coli outbreak strain in spinach.

Map of Affected States

Click on the map to see the number of persons reported with the outbreak strain from each state.



CDC Advice for Consumers

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More Information

For more information about the outbreak, about the investigation, and for prevention guidance, see E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak from Fresh Spinach.

Page last modified September 24, 2006
Content source: National Center for Infectious Diseases

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