Sullivan Co. Health Department: 3 local E. Coli cases linked to multi-state outbreak

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SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WJHL) – According to the Tennessee Department of Health, 14 cases of E. Coli have been reported in the Northeast Region and Sullivan County.

While eight of those cases are in Sullivan County’s jurisdiction, health department officials said three of those cases are related to the mysterious strain that has been the source of a multi-state outbreak.

That makes up around 12% of the state’s reported 26 outbreak cases.

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).

“We have had a few cases that have had to be hospitalized due to their symptoms and then a few cases that did not need to be hospitalized,” said Heather Mullins, Regional Epidemiologist with the Sullivan County Health Department.

As of Wednesday, it was not clear whether those hospitalizations were specifically tied to the outbreak strain.

The CDC reported 11 people have been hospitalized and no deaths have been reported. 

Mullins said the department learns about cases of E. Coli through healthcare providers, who are required to report the cases to the health department, and through Foodnet case reports.

“We have those intial questions that we do ask every E Coli case,” said Mullins, “CDC has developed a supplemental questionaire, just for questions to be asked for those specific cases they have right now, to drill down to get a little bit more detail from those connected to the multi-state outbreak.”

According to the CDC, states are looking into additional illnesses that might be a part of the outbreak. 

Mullins said based on information from the CDC concerning those mysterious outbreak cases at this point there has not been a common source for the outbreak.

The Sullivan County Health Department wants you to keep in mind the importance of washing your hands, making sure meat is properly cooked and watching out for cross-contimination.

Symptoms of E. Coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting.

If you are experiencing symptoms, you are reminded to stay home. 

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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