The E. coli O145 outbreak that has sickened as many as 47 people in Michigan and Ohio continues to evolve. Misti Crane of the Columbus Dispatch today reported that the State of New York has confirmed that one of its residents was infected with a genetically indistinguishable strain of E. coli O145. The outbreak is now likely over–at least, the food product that caused the outbreak is thought to be gone–but states, primarily Ohio and Michigan, continue to investigate recent reports of foodpoisoning illnesses and confirmed E. coli O145 infections.
This is not to say, however, that the threat of illness is now over. Secondary infection–i.e. where –is a well-known risk factor for those in the environment of an infected person, particularly living or working there.
Whatever the current status of the contaminated food, the outbreak is now a major public health concern. The States of Ohio and Michigan have already confirmed more than 20 people as part of the E. coli outbreak. Multiple students of the Ohio State University and the University of Michigan have been infected, and reports suggest that the unlucky wolverines and others from Ann Arbor sickened in the outbreak were infected at multiple retail foodservice locations. In contrast, based on reports thus far, it appears that the Columbus Ohio residents sickened in the outbreak were exposed at one restaurant. It is not entirely clear where the New York resident who is counted as part of the outbreak was sickened in New York, or had recently traveled to Ohio and Michigan.