NYC Suburb Cites 7 E Coli Cases

US - Health officials on eastern Long Island are warning consumers to cook ground beef products thoroughly after seven people became infected with E. coli contamination in the early weeks of the summer.
calendar icon 25 July 2007
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All seven patients, including an 8-year-old North Carolina girl who was hospitalized after her kidneys shut down, are now recovering, Dr. Humayun J. Chaudhry, the Suffolk County health commissioner, said Tuesday.

Chaudhry stressed no specific brand of ground beef has been identified; it was purchased at various locations around Long Island. He also said the majority of those who became ill between June 9 and July 3 were believed to have eaten the beef products at local barbecues and not at restaurants.

He said federal and local health officials are continuing to investigate, but preliminary findings suggest the E. coli O157 contamination is not specific to Suffolk.

An analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found two of the Suffolk cases match E. coli contamination cases in Minnesota and California, and one Suffolk case matches an outbreak identified in Michigan.

The fourth Suffolk case is a newly identified type not seen before in the United States.

E. coli are bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Although most strains of the bacteria are harmless, several are known to produce toxins. The bacteria live in the intestines of some healthy cattle and contamination of the meat may occur in the slaughtering process. Person-to-person transmission can occur if infected people do not wash their hands after using the toilet.

Source: Forbes
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