We are currently investigating multiple E. coli O157:H7 and HUS illnesses in the east-Texas, west-Arkansas area. We do not yet know what, if anything, links the illnesses together. The reason for this post is simply that this is the first day of the new year (2009) (maybe it’s the sun finally shining through my office window in Seattle, or the Mariners taking batting practice at the stadium in the distance) where I’ve had the distinct sense that hamburger e. coli season is getting underway.
Bill Marler has already had the feeling. See his recent posts here and here, questioning whether 2009 will continue the trend of 2007-08, during which period 44 million pounds of ground beef were recalled due to potential contamination by E. coli O157:H7. Safe to say that nobody in the world has better instincts on the subject? Whatever your answer to that question, Spring is not much of a joyful season at Marler Clark. Too many people sickened with E. coli O157:H7; too many kids developing HUS; too many calls like the one that I received this morning from a young mother whose son has been on dialysis for fifteen days now.