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Update on Multi-State Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7

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CDC.gov-As of 1 PM (ET) September 17, 2006, Sunday, 109 persons infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported to CDC from 19 states.

Among the ill persons, 55 (50%) were hospitalized, 16 (15%) developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), and an adult in Wisconsin died. Eighty-one (74%) were female and 6 (6%) were children under 5 years old.

Dates of illness onset ranged from August 2 to September 9, 2006. The states that have reported cases are California (1 case), Connecticut (2), Idaho (4), Indiana (8), Kentucky (4), Maine (2), Michigan (6), Minnesota (1), New Mexico (5), Nevada (1), New York (7), Ohio (10), Oregon (5), Pennsylvania (3), Utah (14), Virginia (1), Washington (2), Wisconsin (32), and Wyoming (1).

The following is advice for consumers about this outbreak:

Currently, the FDA has advised to not eat any fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach that are consumed raw.
E. coli O157:H7 in spinach can be killed by cooking at 160 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 seconds. (Water boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit.) If spinach is cooked in a frying pan, and all parts do not reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit, all bacteria may not be killed. If consumers choose to cook the spinach, they should avoid cross-contamination of the fresh spinach with other foods and food contact surfaces, and wash hands, utensils, and surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after handling the spinach.
Persons who develop diarrhea after consuming fresh spinach or salad blends containing fresh spinach are urged to contact their health care provider and ask that their stool specimen be tested for E. coli O157.
Persons who ate fresh spinach or salad blends and feel well do not need to see a health-care provider.
For more information about the outbreak, about the investigation, and for prevention guidance, see E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak from Fresh Spinach.

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