What you need to know:
In December 2017, a multi-state outbreak of E coli 0157:H7 was reported in the United States. A total of 24 individuals were affected spanning 15 different states with an additional 7 cases being investigated. The CDC reported information from 18 of the affected individuals, indicating that 9 individuals were hospitalized. Of these 9 individuals, 2 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and 1 died. The contaminated food was traced back to leafy greens, which were immediately recalled. While cattle are the primary reservoir for E coli 0157:H7, it is particularly virulent because the infecting dose is very low. Therefore, food products that have been contaminated with feculent material from infected cows can lead to infection. Contaminated food items may include meats, fruits, and vegetables.
Clinical manifestations include abdominal pain, cramping, and bloody diarrhea. The average incubation period for E coli 0157:H7 infection is 3 days. Of the 15% of patients that may develop HUS, they will go on to develop renal failure, macroangiopathic hemolytic anemia, and thrombocytopenia about 7 days after the start of diarrhea.
ACM Resources to help you learn more:
"Acquired Hemolytic Anemia" in Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e
"Food and Waterborne Illnesses" in Tintinalli’s Emergency Medicine: A Comprehensive Study Guide, 8e
"Enterobacteriaceae" in Sherris Medical Microbiology, 7e