CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) — An investigation is underway by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to identify the source of an E. coli outbreak in Ohio and Michigan.
Clark County Combined Health District said that they discovered two cases of E. coli and those cases are currently being investigated by the CDC. The CDC is still investigating the source of the outbreak between Ohio and Michigan, but Clark County said with only 29 cases found, it can be difficult initially to trace it back to its source.
“It’s hard with that few cases to make connections especially when we’re looking at two states at this point,” said Clark County Combined Health District Assistant Health Commissioner Chris Cook.
Twenty-nine cases of E. coli are being investigated by the CDC, the source of the outbreak remains unknown. Clark County said they average six E. coli cases per year, but in the month of August alone, two cases have been discovered.
“Clark County has had two cases in the month of August so these cases are being sent to the CDC to see if they share that common fingerprint with the other states and 29 cases,” said Cook.
Vomiting and signs of dehydration are common symptoms of contracting E. coli, but Clark County said another symptom can be a dead giveaway.
“One of the tell-tale things with shiga toxin-producing E. coli is bloody diarrhea, so I will tell you that blood is not supposed to be in your stool or feces at all, especially diarrhea,” said Cook.
Cook said one surprising factor is that 30% of the cases currently are being hospitalized which raises concerns.
“Especially if you’re in the age group of 65 and older, you can get dehydrated very quickly from diarrhea so take it seriously if it last a couple of days and see if there’s any blood in it,” said Cook.
Since the source of the outbreak is still unknown, Clark County said the best way to protect yourself right now is using a food thermometer, always make sure your food is cooked properly plus only consume pasteurized products.