CDC: Outbreak of E. coli Infections – April 12, 2019 update
April 12, 2019
Since the last update on April 9, 2019, 13 more ill people were added to this outbreak.
As of April 12, 2019, 109 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O103 have been reported from six states. CDC is reporting the 109 illnesses that the PulseNet laboratory network has confirmed are part of this outbreak. States are investigating additional illnesses that might be a part of this outbreak. A list of the states and the number of confirmed cases in each can be found on the Map of Reported Cases page.
Illnesses started on dates from March 2, 2019, to March 26, 2019. Ill people range in age from less than 1 year to 83 years, with a median age of 18. Fifty-three percent are female. Of 81 people with information available, 17 (21%) have been hospitalized. No deaths and no cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome have been reported.
Illnesses that occurred after March 20, 2019, might not yet be reported due to the time it takes between when a person becomes ill with E. coli and when the illness is reported. This takes an average of two to three weeks.
Investigation of the Outbreak
This multistate investigation began on March 28, 2019, when officials in Kentucky and Georgia notified CDC of this outbreak. Preliminary epidemiologic information suggests that ground beef is the source of this outbreak.
In interviews, ill people answered questions about the foods they ate and other exposures in the week before they became ill. Sixty-three (84%) of 75 people interviewed reported eating ground beef. This percentage is significantly higher than results from a survey Cdc-pdf[PDF – 787 KB] of healthy people. Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants. Many ill people bought large trays or chubs of ground beef from grocery stores and used the meat to make dishes like spaghetti sauce and sloppy joe.
Traceback investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurants where ill people ate. At this time, no common supplier, distributor, or brand of ground beef has been identified. Consumers should follow steps to handle ground beef safely and cook it thoroughly.
CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.