Ground Beef Identified as Source of Mystery E. coli Outbreak

Ground Beef Identified as Source of Mystery E. coli Outbreak

In a statement released today (April 12), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said that, based on interviews with the sick people, preliminary evidence suggests that ground beef is the source of the outbreak.

The CDC says people can continue to eat ground beef. "Investigations are ongoing to determine the source of ground beef supplied to grocery stores and restaurant locations where ill people ate", the announcement read.

The outbreak started in early March.

So far, the outbreak has sickened 109 people in six states. The meat should be cooked thoroughly to 160 degrees to kill germs. The CDC does not recommended avoiding eating, serving, or selling ground beef yet at this time. Of those impacted, 17 were hospitalized for treatment of the E. coli O103 strain causing the illness. Half of the cases are in Kentucky.

Illnesses are now being reported in six states: Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia and Indiana.

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Earlier this week, the CDC issued an update on its E. coli warning, revealing that the outbreak had infected almost one-hundred people across five states: Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, and Georgia.

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals.

The CDC will provide more information as it becomes available.

"Ill people bought or ate ground beef from several different grocery stores and restaurants". Symptoms include diarrhea, which can be bloody, severe stomach cramps and vomiting.

This is the third-largest E.coli outbreak in the U.S. in 20 years, with about 17 people having been hospitalized so far. These complications are more common in young children under 5, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems.

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