An outbreak of infections associated with a common type of bacteria found in foods, the environment and in the gastrointestinal tract of people and animals, has sicken 17 people in seven states, including two in CT.
The CDC confirmed the outbreak this week, but said the source of the bacterial infection is still unclear. Six people have been hospitalized, one person suffered a type of kidney failure and that 65 percent of those ill are women.
The CDC still has yet to figure out what the cause of the outbreak is and is not yet recommending people avoid certain foods or restaurants. An additional four have been reported in Idaho, and two cases each in CT and Pennsylvania.
A total of six cases were reported in New Jersey along with four in Idaho, two each in CT and Pennsylvania and one each in Missouri, Ohio and Washington. "State and local public health officials are interviewing ill people to determine what they ate and other exposures in the week before their illness started".
As of April 9, 2018, 17 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from these 7 states.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating, but so far haven't linked a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant chain as the source.
Symptoms of an E. coli infection can include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting, with most people recovering after five to seven days. This can be due to ingestion of contaminated food and water or poor hygiene.
Some methods for reducing the risk of infection include thoroughly washing hands after using the bathroom or before cooking and eating, fully cooking meats to kill germs, and avoiding unpasteurized products like raw milk.