The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating and helping mitigate an E. coli outbreak in two Midwestern states.
So far, 29 people — 15 from Michigan and 14 from Ohio — have been infected, with nine hospitalizations. The food source is not yet known.
Whole genome sequencing from the infected people suggests that the outbreak originated from the same food.
“The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher,” with both states reporting large increases in the number of infected individuals, the CDC warned in its media statement.
The 14 Ohio cases were “reported in Clermont, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Wood, Lorain, Lucas, Mahoning and Summit counties,” an Ohio Department of Health spokesperson told WBNS-TV, the CBS affiliate in Columbus.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services pointed out a spike in infections in Kent, Ottawa, and Oakland counties.
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The Michigan department said it has “received reports of 98 cases of E. coli infection in August, compared to 20 cases reported during the same time period in 2021,” noting in a news release that “the current investigation is in the early stages.”
The O157 strain causing the outbreak is a type of E. coli that produces the Shiga toxin, which causes symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, cramps and fever.
“While reports of E. coli illness typically increase during the warmer summer months, this significant jump in cases is alarming,” Dr. Natasha Bagdasarian, chief medical executive for MDHHS, said in the news release.