The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—along with the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture, and numerous state departments of health—are investigating a growing outbreak of Shiga-producing E coli. Cases have turned up in Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia as of April 4. So far 72 people have been infected; there have been multiple hospitalizations, but no deaths or cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (a type of kidney failure) have occurred, to date. Food distribution is considered the most likely mechanism, but so far no specific items or restaurant visits have been identified. Urgent care providers in the states affected, but also those in surrounding states, should be vigilant for symptoms that could be attributed to E coli infection, such as acute diarrheal illness. The Shiga-producing variety of E coli infection typically causes symptoms 3–4 days after ingestion.
E Coli Outbreak Spreads to Five States