E. coli Outbreak

Audrey Tumbarello, Journalist

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Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli, is a Gram-negative, facultative anaerobic, coliform bacteria of the genus Escherichia that is commonly found in the lower intestine of warm-blooded organisms. E. coli is part of the Gammaproteobacteria class. Some common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and plenty more.

Recently, multiple people have been sickened by a state of E. coli. Although they do not know where the source is coming from, it has managed to affect 96 people from five different states. The states include Georgia, Kentucky, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. Eleven out of the 96 have been hospitalized, but no deaths have been reported yet. The first record of the illness came on March 2, 2019 and the most recent one has been on March 26. The patients range from 1 to 81 years old. According to the Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Jeffrey Howard, “Exposure to E. coli bacteria can be debilitating and potentially life-threatening, especially for small children and individuals with weakened immune systems.” In the past this illness has killed many. It is challenging to recover from it and it is very deadly. According to the Food Poison Journal, people are becoming ill two to five days after consuming tainted food. Doctors are skeptical that it may be an illness called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). HUS is a life threatening disease that causes the kidneys to stop working. It is almost as deadly as E. coli and has some of the same symptoms that E. coli does. Some symptoms include fatigue, frequency of urination, and losing pink color in ones cheeks and lower eyelids. Whether it is E. coli or hemolytic uremic syndrome the illness is deadly and the cause of it needs to be discovered quickly before it keeps spreading.