An E. coli outbreak has spread to 6 states and has sickened over 100 people.

If a few days ago the cause of the infection was still unknown, federal officials have recently discovered that ground beef is linked to the bacterial spread.

The official report said that a total of 109 people, have been infected with the strain of Escherichia coli O103.

However, the U.S. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention are expecting the numbers of patience to increase over the coming days.

Escherichia coli (or E. coli) are a type of bacteria residing in the surrounding environment, foods, people and animal’s intestines.

Most strains of E. coli are not harmful. In fact, they make up the healthful bacterial flora in your gut.

The type that can make you sick or even kill you is usually found in contaminated water and food. It can also spread by having direct contact with other infected humans or animals.

Like in most cases of bacterial infection, the ones most predisposed to contract it are elderly people aged 65 and older, and children less than five years of age.

Although everyone is susceptible to the E. coli bacteria, the aforementioned are more likely to develop serious complications.

The CDC has announced on Friday that the total number of affected people is 109 so far.

Fortunately, no deaths have been reported, but at least 17 people have been hospitalised in critical condition.

States with the highest number of cases are Kentucky (54 people) and Tennessee (28 people).

Other states affected by the outbreak are Ohio, Georgia, Virginia and Indiana, the CDC reports.

The investigation has determined that beef eaten both at home and in restaurants is to blame for the outbreak, but the CDC is yet to determine the exact supplier of infested meat.

Symptoms of bad E. coli are felt about three to four days after consuming the bacteria, and can range from severe abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting that usually lasts five to seven days, fever, as well as watery or bloody diarrhea.

For elderly people and youngster, complications may arise (usually kidney failure) which can hold their life at stake.

The CDC reports that each year there are over 265,000 cases of E. coli in the U.S. alone.

About 3,600 people end up in a hospital because of it, and about 30 deaths occur due to complications.

Since meat is on the plate of most preppers out there, it’s essential to keep in mind a few important things in order to prevent contracting bad E. coli.

  • Forget medium-rare steak if you want to stay on the safe side of things, at least when there is an outbreak in your state. Instead, cook the meat thoroughly to kill all bacteria.
  • Clean your hands and utensils using warm water and soap.
  • Since E. coli resides on produce, it’s essential to wash all veggies and fruits.
  • If there’s an outbreak in your area, the best thing to do is to avoid eating meat until the infection has been contained.

I hope this informative material will help you ward off any unwanted complications related to E. coli.

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