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Mystery E. coli outbreak sickens 72 people in 5 states, CDC says

A multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Posted: Apr 5, 2019 12:23 PM

(CNN) - A multistate outbreak of E. coli has raised alarms and questions: As of Thursday, 72 people in five states have become ill, yet the cause of their infection remains unknown, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

Symptoms of this bacterial infection, which usually begin about three or four days after consuming the bacteria, can include watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Eight people involved in the mysterious outbreak have been hospitalized. No deaths have been reported. People started becoming ill March 2, and the patients range in age from 1 to 74 years old. Additional illnesses tied this outbreak may still be reported, the CDC said.

States reporting sick patients are Georgia (8 patients), Kentucky (36), Ohio (5), Tennessee (21) and Virginia (2).

Government scientists have not identified a food item, grocery store or restaurant chain as the source of these infections. The CDC, state health departments, the US Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service and the US Food and Drug Administration are investigating the outbreak.

You do not need to avoid any particular food, the CDC said, and grocery stores, retailers and restaurants do not need to avoid serving or selling any particular food.

Anyone concerned that they might have an E. coli infection should talk to their health care provider. It is important to write down everything you ate in the week before developing symptoms. A medical professional can diagnose you as well as offer advice, including washing your hands, to avoid spreading it to other people.

E. coli are a diverse family of bacteria that can be found in the environment, in foods and in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless. To avoid becoming infected with a harmful strain, the CDC recommends using proper hygiene; cooking meat at proper temperatures; avoiding raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and juices; and not swallowing water when swimming.

Most people infected by the bacteria get better within five to seven days. Antibiotics are not recommended for patients with suspected E. coli infections until testing has been performed.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 103813

Reported Deaths: 3993
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles498602241
Riverside7341313
San Diego7100260
Orange5744142
San Bernardino4914190
Alameda309794
Santa Clara2701140
San Francisco243740
San Mateo202282
Kern200737
Tulare183580
Fresno165832
Santa Barbara163612
Imperial144326
Contra Costa138437
Sacramento134956
Ventura106232
San Joaquin84235
Kings7043
Stanislaus68328
Sonoma5304
Solano50922
Monterey4699
Marin43614
Merced2807
San Luis Obispo2681
Yolo20723
Santa Cruz2062
Placer1969
Napa1113
Humboldt983
Madera942
San Benito852
El Dorado840
Del Norte440
Sutter422
Nevada411
Butte400
Shasta374
Mono351
Yuba281
Mendocino250
Lake230
Inyo191
Mariposa161
Calaveras150
Glenn140
Amador100
Siskiyou60
Colusa50
Lassen50
Tuolumne40
Plumas40
Tehama41
Alpine20
Trinity10
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
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Oroville
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Chester
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We'll be staying hot on Friday, but won't be as hot as the last few days. The potential for active weather returns Friday night into Saturday and much cooler temperatures are on the way for your weekend.
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