E. coli outbreak in six states sickens 14, kills child
(CBS/AP) - Health officials are investigating a mysterious and scattered outbreak of the E. coli bacteria linked to 14 illnesses and one death.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said no form of contaminated food or other cause has been identified in the illnesses, which occurred in April and May. They are spread among six states.
Three people were hospitalized. One - a child in the New Orleans area - died last week. The Georgia Department of Public Health on Wednesday confirmed to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution the state has five confirmed cases with one sufferer needing hospitalization.
The outbreak strain is E. coli 0145, a dangerous but not well-known type of bacteria. The strain was fingered in a 2010 outbreak that sickened more than two dozen people in at least five states. The most commonly identified strain in North America is E. coli O157, and has been responsible for numerous outbreaks.
Some strains of E. coli are harmless, but others can cause serious and potentially lethal illnesses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. E. coli infection typically causes stomach cramps, diarrhea (sometimes bloody), vomiting, and mild fever. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia, and other illnesses.
Symptoms typically appear within four days, though sometimes the "incubation period" can last a week.
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