Today, Misti Crane of the Columbus Dispatch reported as follows on the growing outbreak of E. coli illnesses in Ohio and Michigan:
Health officials in New York have linked a person’s illness there to the E. coli outbreak in Columbus and Ann Arbor, Mich., and are looking into at least a dozen more possible cases.
"We continue to review suspected cases. As a precaution, the department will issue a health-care provider alert statewide," New York State Health Department spokesman Jeffrey Hammond said in an e-mail.
The linked New York case is from Erie County, home to Buffalo, and the individual has recovered.
All five confirmed Columbus cases have now been genetically linked to the outbreak in Michigan, said Columbus Public Health spokesman Jose Rodriguez. Eight other probable cases are under evaluation.
The Ohio Department of Agriculture is testing four food samples; results might not be available for several days, said spokeswoman Kaleigh Frazier.
She would not name the types of food being tested or say if all four samples were the same type of food. The department’s lab is responsible for tests on both produce and meat. Food items also are being tested in Michigan.
Students at Ohio State University and the University of Michigan are among those sickened in the outbreak. Hammond said he did not know if the New York resident was a college student.
Symptoms of E. coli include sometimes-bloody diarrhea and abdominal cramping. Most healthy adults can recover completely within a week, but those who are infected can develop a life-threatening condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome. Children are especially vulnerable.
Columbus Public Health officials want to hear from individuals who think they might have been infected. The number to call is 614-719-8888.