October 28, 2011
Public Health Alert – Illinois E. coli Case Possibly Linked to St. Louis Area Outbreak
CHICAGO – The Illinois Department of Public (IDPH), along with local health departments in Illinois, are investigating a case of shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli, or E. coli STEC bacteria illness reported in St. Clair County. Further investigation and laboratory testing will allow authorities to determine if this case is linked to those in the St. Louis, Missouri area. Public health authorities in Illinois will investigate any newly reported cases of STEC to determine if they may be linked to this outbreak.
IDPH and other public health authorities in Illinois are conducting an investigation to determine the source of the outbreak, but at this time, no specific source has been identified.
Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, some can make you sick. If a person experiences bloody diarrhea or prolonged diarrhea they may have a food borne form of E. coli infection and should call their health care provider immediately.
E. coli is spread most often through the consumption of contaminated food, the consumption of unpasteurized (raw) milk, the consumption of water that has not been disinfected, contact with cattle, or contact with the feces of infected people.
Here are three steps people can take to reduce the risk of exposure to E. coli:
For more information on E. coli log onto: http://www.idph.state.il.us/public/hb/hbecoli.htm
of Public Health
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Springfield, Illinois 62761
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