The Center for Disease Control is working to find out the source of an E. coli outbreak.
At least 17 people in seven states were infected with the bacteria. Six people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported, according to the CDC. One case has been reported in Ohio, and other cases have been reported in Connecticut, Idaho, Missouri, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Washington.
A specific food item, grocery store or restaurant chain has not been identified as the source, and the CDC is not recommending consumers avoid any particular food at this time.
The following steps can be taken to prevent E. coli infection:
- Wash your hands after using the restroom, changing diapers, before and after preparing/eating food and after contact with animals
- Cook meats thoroughly
- Don’t cross-contaminate food preparation areas
- Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
- Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices
- Don’t prepare food or drink for others when you are ill
Symptoms of E. coli:
- Symptoms usually show within 2-8 days after swallowing the germ
- Diarrhea, often bloody, with severe stomach cramps and vomiting
- Fever, pale skin tone, fatigue, irritability, unexplained bruises, bleeding from nose and mouth, decreased urination