CDC joins investigation into E. coli outbreak in Michigan and Ohio

More illnesses reported in E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce
Posted at 1:39 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 13:39:51-04

(WXYZ) — The CDC has joined the State of Michigan in investigating an E. coli outbreak affecting both Michigan and Ohio.

According to the CDC, 29 people have been infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157 – 15 in Michigan and 14 in Ohio. Nine people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.

The CDC said a food has not yet been identified as the source of the outbreak and the investigation is ongoing.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it has received 98 reports of E. coli infection in August. This time last year, there were 20 reported cases.

MDHHS and the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development are investigating the recent increase along with health departments in Kent, Ottawa and Oakland counties. The state says the investigation is in the early stages, but laboratory results found that some of the cases are linked to each other.

“While reports of E. coli illness typically increase during the warmer summer months, this significant jump in cases is alarming,” MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian said in a statement. “This is a reminder to make sure to follow best practices when it comes to hand hygiene and food handling to prevent these kinds of foodborne illness. If you are experiencing symptoms of E. coli infection like cramping and diarrhea (or gastrointestinal distress), especially if they are severe, make sure to let your health care provider know.”

Common symptoms include:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea, often bloody
  • Vomiting
  • Fever

E. coli infection symptoms usually appear within three to four days after exposure, MDHHS said. Symptoms could last one day or as long as 10, with many seeing improvement within five to seven days.

What You Should Do:

  • Call your healthcare provider right away if you have severe E. coli symptoms.
  • If you have symptoms of E. coli, help us solve this outbreak:
  • Follow these four food safety steps [] to prevent getting sick from E. coli: clean, separate, cook, and chill.
  • 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.