20 Kentuckians Sick With E.coli From Unknown Source
The Kentucky Department for Public Health says 20 Kentuckians have tested positive for a strain of E. coli. The sometimes life-threatening bacteria is especially dangerous for the young and those with compromised immune systems.
Public health investigators have not yet identified the source of the outbreak, but have noted that some sort of food distribution is likely behind the outbreak.
The reported cases involve a number of children as well as adults, many of whom reside in Central Kentucky. No deaths linked to the outbreak have been reported but six people have been hospitalized.
This particular strain of E. coli produces a type of toxin that can be dangerous for those infected. Exposure to E. coli bacteria can be harmful and potentially life-threatening, especially for small children and individuals with weakened immune systems.
Healthcare providers across Kentucky have been alerted to the potential threat and are working to make sure patients are identified and are receiving appropriate care. Symptoms of E. coli typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea and people generally become ill two to five days after consuming contaminated food.