Michigan Health Departments Investigating E.coli Illnesses

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The Michigan Department of Community Health and Agriculture & Rural Development, along with several local health departments, are investigating a cluster of recent illnesses due to E.coli.

The counties include Livingston, Washtenaw, Kent, Oakland and Ottawa.

At least 5 illnesses have been confirmed and three people have been hospitalized.

Early information suggests undercooked ground beef eaten at several different restaurants in multiple locations is most likely the source. The state is working with the health departments and the USDA to determine the source of the ground beef and how widely it was distributed.

“E. coli O157 illnesses can be very serious or life-threatening, especially for young children, older adults, and people who are immunocompromised,” said Dr. Matthew Davis, Chief Medical Executive at the MDCH. “Whether you cook at home or order in a restaurant, ground meats, including ground beef, should always be cooked thoroughly to the proper temperature."

Some kinds of E. coli cause disease by making a toxin called Shiga toxin. A gastrointestinal infection caused by Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 can cause diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps three to four days after exposure (incubation range 2-10 days). Most people get better within five to seven days, but the elderly, infants, and those with weak immune systems are more likely to develop severe or even life-threatening illness, such as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Persons who are ill with these symptoms and have consumed ground beef recently should consult with their medical provider and ask about being tested for an E. coli infection.



 
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