Health officials confirmed with News Channel 11 that “less than a handful” of people have been diagnosed with E. Coli in Sullivan County.
Epidemiologist for the Sullivan County Health Department, Heather Mullins, told News Channel 11 these cases are related to a multi-state outbreak impacting Tennessee, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia and Ohio.
A report released by the CDC today reveals a total of 96 people have been infected with the same outbreak strain as of April 8: Tennessee (26), Virginia (2), Kentucky (46), Georgia (17), Ohio (5).
The CDC reported 11 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported.
According to the CDC, states are looking into additional illnesses that might be a part of the outbreak.
Health officials in Sullivan County said they have not received any information regarding a common source of the outbreak. The CDC is not recommending that anyone avoid a particular food and restaurants are not being advised to avoid serving any particular food.
Symptoms of E. Coli infection can include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting, according to the CDC.
General ways of prevention, according to the CDC, includes:
- Washing your hands
- Cooking meats throroughly to kill harmful germs
- Keeping raw meats separate from foods that won’t be cooked before eating
- Washing fruits and vegetables
- Avoiding raw milk and other unpasteurized dairy products
- Avoiding preparing food and drinks for others while sick