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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.

Cases: 3566914

Reported Deaths: 52158
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles119192321435
Riverside2894503767
San Bernardino2866072874
Orange2612203917
San Diego2600913284
Santa Clara1106211777
Kern102627827
Fresno953931443
Sacramento932811472
Alameda806681242
Ventura77623844
San Joaquin665691101
Contra Costa62248681
Stanislaus56132946
Tulare47784758
Monterey42138328
San Mateo38998515
San Francisco34260412
Santa Barbara31805411
Solano30024164
Merced28915397
Sonoma28141298
Imperial26903591
Kings21955218
Placer19763232
San Luis Obispo19612227
Madera15467209
Santa Cruz14588183
Marin13136197
Yolo12834185
Shasta10985174
Butte10962160
El Dorado9095100
Napa903869
Sutter884597
San Benito576759
Yuba573337
Lassen560119
Tehama508152
Nevada396074
Tuolumne394659
Mendocino379643
Amador346341
Humboldt318033
Lake315641
Glenn222523
Colusa212813
Calaveras190547
Siskiyou174014
Inyo128737
Mono12114
Del Norte9875
Plumas6536
Modoc4524
Mariposa3957
Trinity3675
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