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

Media Statement

For Immediate Release: April 9, 2019
Contact: Media Relations
(404) 639-3286

A CDC investigation update of a multistate outbreak of E. coli O103 infections has been posted https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2019/o103-04-19/index.html. 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.
  • 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 8, 2019, 96 ill people have been reported from five states. The last reported illness began on March 26, 2019.
  • Eleven 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: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/ecoli-prevention.html.
  • Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until diagnostic testing can be performed and E. coli infection is ruled out.
  • State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started. Federal and state regulatory officials use that information to guide efforts to identify a contaminated food and trace it to its source. More information about the steps in a foodborne outbreak investigation can be found here:  https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/outbreaks/investigating-outbreaks/investigations/index.html.
  • This investigation is ongoing, and CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

If you have more 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.

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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICESExternal

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Page last reviewed: April 9, 2019