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Escherichia coli

E. coli are bacteria with many different subtypes, some of which can cause disease in people. E. coli can cause a variety of different infections, including gastrointestinal illness and urinary tract infections, among others. In Alaska, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) is tracked by public health. STEC can be spread by eating contaminated foods or drinks, or by having contact with a sick person, animal, or contaminated surface. STEC can cause diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, and sometimes a serious complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Most people recover in 5-7 days.

Currently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is monitoring a multistate outbreak of E. coli infections associated with consumption of romaine lettuce. Cases began occurring in March 2018 and Alaska reported cases with illness onsets in early April. Investigations are ongoing.

Updated April 20: There have been eight cases of STEC identified in Alaska as potentially part of the romaine outbreak. Five are confirmed as part of the outbreak by PFGE. Three are still pending PFGE typing.

E. Coli 0157 Case - Onset Date

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