Published Date: 2012-04-10 12:25:19
Subject: PRO/AH/EDR> E. coli EHEC - USA (06): (MO) O157, unpasteurized dairy susp.
Archive Number: 20120410.1095960
E. COLI EHEC - USA (06): (MISSOURI) O157, UNPASTEURIZED DAIRY SUSPECTED
A ProMED-mail post
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International Society for Infectious Diseases
Date: Mon 9 Apr 2012
Source: Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune [edited]
A Boone County 2-year-old infected with _E. coli_ O157 remained hospitalized this morning, 9 Apr 2012, in Columbia as 1 of 5 central Missouri residents battling the infection.
Geni Alexander, public information officer for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services, said the 2-year-old is one of 3 Boone County residents with either a confirmed or suspected case of the illness. Alexander said health officials have determined that consumption of raw dairy products was the only common link for possible exposure among the 3 Boone County victims. She did not disclose the gender of the victims.
"Each person was identified as a raw dairy consumer," Alexander said, "but we can't say they all got it from the same place."
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is investigating an increase in cases of Shiga toxin-producing _E. coli_ in central Missouri from late March 2012 through early April 2012. In addition to the Boone County 2-year-old, state health officials reported Thursday [5 Apr 2012] that a 17-month-old toddler also developed symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, a severe condition that can lead to permanent kidney damage in some who survive the illness.
Alexander said the victims of the three Boone County cases range in age from 2 to 31. The 17-month-old victim is not a Boone County resident, she said.
Boone County reported 3 confirmed cases of _E. coli_ O157 late last fall 2011 at the same time an outbreak of the infection occurred in St. Louis. Those victims ranged in age from 11 to 63, and 2 of the cases required hospitalization. Boone County had 3 confirmed cases in 2009, 1 in 2010, and 8 in 2011.
Alexander said the best defense against the bacteria is to cook meat thoroughly, wash fruits and vegetables, have good hand-washing hygiene, and avoid raw dairy products. "In public health, we always advise to stay away from those raw dairy products," she said.
[Byline: Jodie Jackson Jr]
[Although it is not yet established that unpasteurized dairy products are the vehicle of transmission in this outbreak, certainly these products are well known sources of enterohemorrhagic _E. coli_ as well as a large selection of other pathogenic microbes including zoonotic organisms such as _Brucella abortus_, _Brucella melitensis_, _Mycobacterium bovis_, _Salmonella_ species, _Listeria monocytogenes_, _Campylobacter_ species, _Yersinia_ species, and _Coxiella burnetii_. Pathogenic microbes also include non-zoonotic organisms such as _Streptococcus pyogenes_, _Salmonella_ Typhi, _Corynebacterium diphtheriae_, _Shigella_ species, _Salmonella_ Paratyphi A, _Salmonella_ Paratyphi B, enterotoxins from _Staphylococcus aureus_, and hepatitis A.
We await more information regarding this cluster of cases. - Mod.LL
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