E. coli Outbreak with Unknown Food Source

Illustration with a microscope and text reading Investigation Notice

Posted February 2, 2021

CDC is concerned about the growing number of severe illnesses and hospitalizations in this outbreak. If you have E. coli symptoms, talk to your healthcare provider and report your illness to your local health department.

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 16
  • Hospitalizations: 9
  • Deaths: 1
  • States: 5
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active
Illustration of E. coli pathogen

Fast Facts
  • Illnesses: 16
  • Hospitalizations: 9
  • Deaths: 1
  • States: 5
  • Recall: No
  • Investigation status: Active
What You Should Do

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe E. coli symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not urinating (peeing) much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

If you have symptoms of E. coli, help us solve this outbreak:

  • Write down what you ate in the week before you got sick.
  • Report your illness to your local or state health department.
  • Answer public health officials’ questions about your illness.

Follow these four food safety stepsexternal icon to prevent getting sick from E. coli:

  • Clean: Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often. Wash fruits and vegetables before eating, cutting, or peeling.
  • Separate: Keep food that won’t be cooked separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  • Cook: Use a food thermometer to make sure you have cooked your food to a temperature high enough to kill germsexternal icon.
  • Chill: Refrigerate foods that go bad quickly. Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.
Symptoms of E. coli
  • Most people infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli experience severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting.
    • Symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after swallowing the bacteria.
    • Most people recover without treatment after 5 to 7 days.
  • Some people may develop a type of kidney failure (hemolytic uremic syndrome, also called HUS) and would need to be hospitalized.
  • For more information about E. coli, see the E. coli Questions and Answers page.