The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is issuing an updated public health alert regarding additional illnesses of shiga toxin producing Escherichia coli (STEC) across the state associated with the multi-state outbreak.

According to Michigan health officials, 53 cases (same as case number for CDC) have been confirmed linked to the current E. coli outbreak linked to Wendy’s. Michigan now has a total of 115 cases. The discrepancy in numbers is because the 53 cases have undergone whole genome sequencing (WGS) to confirm that they are linked to the outbreak. (Not every case has a sample or is sequenced). Michigan officials expect that number to increase as sequencing is still underway. CDC reports only the number that is matched by whole genome sequencing. Also, according to Michigan health officials, many of the 115 cases are linked to this outbreak, but the remainder either are still undergoing sequencing or we don’t have a sample to sequence. Not all samples are sequenced.

The illness onset dates range from late July through early August. Outbreak cases have been reported from 18 jurisdictions including the counties of Allegan, Branch, Clinton, Genesee, Gratiot, Jackson, Kent, Macomb, Midland, Monroe, Muskegon, Oakland, Ogemaw, Ottawa, Saginaw, Washtenaw, and Wayne and the City of Detroit. The age range of those affected are 6 to 94 years old. Among the Michigan outbreak cases with available information to date, 56% have been hospitalized. Four cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication that occurs in some people diagnosed with STEC infection, have been identified.