CDC Investigation Notice: Multistate Outbreak of E. coli O103 Infections

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: Friday, April 5, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation notice of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted At this time, a source of these infections has not been identified.

Key points:

  • CDC, several states, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are investigating a multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O103 infections.
  • This investigation includes infections recently reported by the Kentucky Department of Public Healthexternal icon.
  • The investigation is still ongoing and a specific food item, grocery store, or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source of infections.
  • As of April 4, 2019, 72 ill people have been reported from five states. The last reported illness began on March 29, 2019.
  • Eight ill people have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have been reported.
  • People get sick from Shiga toxin-producing E. coli an average of 3 to 4 days after swallowing the germ. Most people get diarrhea (often bloody), severe stomach cramps and vomiting.
  • Most people recover within a week, but some illnesses can last longer and be more severe.
  • Talk to your doctor if you have symptoms of an E. coli infection.
  • General ways you can prevent E. coli infection include good handwashing and cooking meats thoroughly. More information can be found here:
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you have further questions about this outbreak, please call the CDC media line at (404) 639-3286. If you have questions about cases in a particular state, please call that state’s health department.


CDC works 24/7 protecting America’s health, safety and security. Whether disease start at home or abroad, are curable or preventable, chronic or acute, or from human activity or deliberate attack, CDC responds to America’s most pressing health threats. CDC is headquartered in Atlanta and has experts located throughout the United States and the world.

Page last reviewed: April 5, 2019