The E. coli outbreak associated with raw beef mince has now sickened 177 people in ten states, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Friday.
That's an increase of 21 people versus the CDC numbers earlier this week, on April 23, were not reported. No deaths were reported at this time, but more than 20 people were hospitalized as a result of the outbreak.
TELL: WOMAN DATA STRAINS UNDER E. COLI BREAKTHROUGH WITH TUBE FIBER Suffers from kidney failure, expires
The outbreak that has caused at least two companies to retrieve thousands of kilos of raw ground beef has residents in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Minnesota, Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Virginia. The highest number of cases was reported in Kentucky, where 65 people are ill.
E. Coli are bacteria found in both the human and animal gut.
Although most strains are harmless, some are pathogenic and can cause diseases that typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea, according to the CDC. The bacteria can be transmitted through contaminated water or food and sometimes through contact with other humans and animals.
USDA USES NO KITTENS, CATS AS AN INSPECTION PROCESSOR IN CONTROVERSAL FOOD SAFETY TEST
Some E. coli infections can be life-threatening. This applies in particular to pregnant women, newborns, older or older adults and people with weakened immune systems.
The CDC recommends thorough hand washing, fruit and vegetable washing, thorough meat cooking, and avoiding cross-contamination in food preparation areas to prevent E. coli disease.