Published Date: 2002-08-03 23:50:00
Subject: PRO> E. coli O157, lettuce - USA: Alert (03)
Archive Number: 20020803.4934
E. COLI O157, LETTUCE - USA: ALERT (03)
A ProMED-mail post
ProMED-mail is a program of the
International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date:: Thu, 1 Aug 2002 08:22:37 -0700
From: Jo Hofmann <Jo.Hofmann@DOH.WA.GOV>
Clarification re: E. coli O157, lettuce - USA: Alert
Please note that the media stories generated by this outbreak have been
inaccurate in a number of aspects, the most critical being how links were
determined between outbreak and outlier cases.
Some 50 out of 130 Spokane camp participants reported diarrheal illness; of
those, 29 had lab-confirmed _E coli_ O157:H7, and thus far, the pulsed-field
gel electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern of those isolates is indistinguishable.
A cohort study of this group identified that risk for illness was associated
with consumption of a caesar salad served at a single meal. This PFGE
pattern matches that of an clinical isolate obtained from a case in Walla
Walla county; that case consumed romaine lettuce from the same source as
that for the Spokane camp.
No _E. coli_ O157:H7 has been isolated or identified in any lettuce samples;
no food remained from either meal for sampling, which is frequently the case
in foodborne outbreaks.
Jo Hofmann, MD
State Epidemiologist for Communicable Disease
Medical Director, Infectious Disease & Reproductive Health
Washington State Department of Health
1610 NE 150th Street Shoreline, WA 98155
[ProMED-mail thanks for Dr. Hofman for making clear the epidemiological
facts related to this outbreak. - Mod.LL]