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14 People Sick with Ecoli in Philadelphia

Posted in E. coli,Our Blog,Outbreaks & Recalls on September 5, 2019

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health announced an outbreak of Ecoli infections that has sickened 14 people so far. All of the 14 who are sick, ranging in age from 7 to 90, “presented with signs of acute gastroenteritis with bloody and non-bloody diarrhea,” according to a media statement from the health department. Here’s some of what our Philadelphia Ecoli Lawyer knows:

According to the media, the cases have been reported since August 30, 2019.

Source Still Not Named

In a statement, city health officials said their investigation “has identified a few shared restaurant exposures.” It did not name the restaurants.

The Concerns of Children and Other High Risk Individuals with Ecoli Infections

Ecoli infections can affect anyone, regardless of age, health status, or geographic location. Those who are high risk usually have more severe infections. Of those in the highest risk group, children are among those who are most at risk to develop Ecoli infections with severe symptoms and complications.

Symptoms of Ecoli Illnesses

The health agency advises Philadelphia residents that, “the illnesses were due to Shiga-toxin E. coli, one of five E. coli strains. Symptoms usually start with non-bloody diarrhea, which can progress to bloody diarrhea after two to three days. Severe abdominal pain and fever may also occur.”

Ecoli infections can start relatively mildly, usually with:

  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • watery diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
  • fever (in some cases)

The early onset of HUS is usually apparent with its own group of additional symptoms. These can include:

  • decreased urination,
  • pallor (an unhealthy pale appearance to the skin),
  • fatigue and irritability,
  • confusion, seizures,
  • high blood pressure,
  • unexplained bruising,
  • bleeding from the nose and/or mouth, and
  • edema (swelling of the hands, feet, face, or entire body).

According to the CDC, “Around 5–10% of those who are diagnosed with E. coli O157 infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).”

Where Does Ecoli Come From?

Ecoli come from animals. Most E. coli are harmless and are actually an important part of a healthy human intestinal tract. However, some E. coli can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, bloodstream infections, and other illnesses. The types of E. coli that can cause illness can be transmitted through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or people.

As for STEC Ecoli, according to the CDC, “STEC live in the guts of ruminant animals, including cattle, goats, sheep, deer, and elk. The major source for human illnesses is cattle. STEC that cause human illness generally do not make animals sick. Other kinds of animals, including pigs and birds, sometimes pick up STEC from the environment and may spread it.”

When Should You Contact Your Doctor?

If you have experienced any of the symptoms listed above, it is a good idea to reach out to your healthcare provider, even if your symptoms are mild.

You should contact your healthcare provider if you experience diarrhea lasting for more than 3 days or vomit so much that you cannot keep liquids down or pass very little urine.  These are signs of severe dehydration that can result in life-threatening illness.

Due to the range in severity of illness, the CDC and FDA also recommend that people should consult their doctors if they suspect that they have developed symptoms of an Ecoli infection, including HUS. Ecoli can cause severe illness, even in healthy individuals.

This is why early medical intervention is key to reducing the risk of severe symptoms and long term complications.

The Lange Law Firm

Our mission is to help families who have been harmed by contaminated food.  When corporations cause food poisoning or Legionnaires’ disease outbreaks, we use the law to hold them accountable.  The Lange Law Firm, PLLC is the only law firm in the nation solely focused on representing families in food poisoning lawsuits and Legionnaires disease lawsuits.

If you or your child was infected with Ecoli after eating at a restaurant and are interested in making a legal claim for compensation, we have an Philadelphia Ecoli lawyer ready to help you.  Call us for a free no obligation legal consultation at (833) 330-3663 or send us an e-mail here.

By: Candess Zona-Mendola, Editor (Non-Lawyer)