The CDC is working with other public health agencies to investigate an 11-state outbreak of E. Coli O121 infections.

As of July 15 a total of 15 patients had been confirmed with infections, a CDC spokesperson told Food Safety News. No other information from the agency was available for release.

The Food and Drug Administration reported on July 14 that it was investigating an E. Coli O121 outbreak involving 15 patients, but the agency did not release any other details except to say that no traceback or sample testing had been initiated.

Few details were available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“We are working to determine a source of the infections. If we identify a source and an ongoing risk to the public, we will issue an outbreak notice,” the CDC spokesperson told Food Safety News.

About E. coli infections
Anyone who has developed symptoms of E. coli infection should seek medical attention and tell their doctor about their possible exposure to the bacteria. Specific tests are required to diagnose the infections, which can mimic other illnesses.

The symptoms of E. coli infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea, which is often bloody. Some patients may also have a fever. Most patients recover within five to seven days. Others can develop severe or life-threatening symptoms and complications, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

About 5 to 10 percent of those diagnosed with E. coli infections develop a potentially life-threatening kidney failure complication, known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Symptoms of HUS include fever, abdominal pain, feeling very tired, decreased frequency of urination, small unexplained bruises or bleeding, and pallor.

Many people with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent injuries or death. This condition can occur among people of any age but is most common in children younger than five years old because of their immature immune systems, older adults because of deteriorating immune systems, and people with compromised immune systems such as cancer patients.

People who experience HUS symptoms should immediately seek emergency medical care. People with HUS will likely be hospitalized because the condition can cause other serious and ongoing problems such as hypertension, chronic kidney disease, brain damage, and neurologic problems.

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