Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced that they were investigating a mysterious E. coli epidemic that has sickened more than 70 people. The epidemic has since been linked to more than 100 cases, but the CDC said the information gathered so far seemed to point to one source: ground beef.
According to the agency, preliminary information regarding ongoing investigations "suggest" that the meat is guilty. The CDC said on Friday that people who were ill during the outbreak said they were eating ground beef both at home and at the restaurant, although only one brand or distributor has yet been determined .
The CDC said the number of sick individuals had risen to 109, spread across six states. Besides Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, Indiana is now part of it. Up to now, there has been no death related to the epidemic strain. E. coli O103, but the agency reported that 17 people were hospitalized.
People who became ill reported feeling sick between March 2 and March 26. Although surveys are ongoing, more than 80% of 75 respondents reported ingesting ground beef prior to becoming ill.
As was the case last week, Kentucky remains the state where the epidemic has been most concentrated. According to the CDC, 54 people have fallen ill in Kentucky alone, compared with 46 total reported by state officials last week.
Citing the Kentucky Department of Public Health, the Mercer County Health Department wrote on Facebook on March 28 that state cases had been "discovered in children and teens exposed to fast food But added that the epidemic was not limited to young people. people. Indeed, the CDC said Friday that cases have been reported among people aged 1 to 83 years.
Although the agency said it was not yet advising consumers to avoid ground beef, it did point out that people handling raw meat should take normal precautions. These include keeping raw meat away from other foods while preparing, as well as thoroughly washing hands before and after touching raw meat of any type. In addition, consumers should avoid consuming overcooked or raw ground beef.[CDC]