Source of E.coli outbreak unknown

10 September 2012 09:42

The source of an E.coli outbreak in an area of New York has yet to be found and new cases emerged last week

The source of an E.coli outbreak in an area of New York has yet to be found and new cases emerged last week

The source of a strange E.coli outbreak that has affected 10 people in the Finger Lakes area of New York over the past month has yet to be confirmed. The infection has affected nine Livingston County residents and one person from Onondaga County since early August, with three of the cases so serious that the victims had to be taken to hospital.

And while public health authorities have identified the specific outbreak strain, Livingston County's director of public health Joan Ellison said they have not yet been able to identify the exact source of the outbreak. "There is a thread that connects them, but not a rope that ties them all together," she told Food Poisoning Bulletin."It's really hard to say where it's coming from."

Lab tests involving a genetic "fingerprinting" method called pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) have revealed that eight of the cases are from the same strain of E.coli 0157:H7, but experts are still awaiting the results for two patients. New cases emerged last week after seven initial cases in early August. The news highlights the importance of medical travel insurance, especially for those travelling to New York. Ellison has said it is unusual that the new cases have occurred. "It's kind of odd that we're adding them sporadically," she added.

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