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E. coli outbreak may be caused by ground beef, CDC says

More than 100 people have gotten sick in recent weeks from a multi-state E. coli outbreak that may be linked to ground beef.

The Centers for Disease Control says an E. coli outbreak that's sickened more than 100 people across six states in recent weeks may be a result of contaminated ground beef. 

As of April 12, the CDC had confirmed 109 cases linked to the outbreak, including 17 people who have been hospitalized. 

There have been no deaths, according to the CDC. 

The agency reported that the majority of the cases from this outbreak have been reported in Kentucky and Tennessee. Fifty-four people have been infected in Kentucky and 28 in Tennessee.

But several illnesses linked to the E. coli outbreak have also been reported in Georgia, Ohio, Indiana and Virginia.

Infected people reported eating ground beef at home and in restaurants, the CDC said. The CDC described the investigation as ongoing as it works to trace back the source of the meat. No common supplier, distributor or brand has been identified.

The CDC recommended consumers contact their doctor if they have symptoms of an E. coli infection. While symptoms can vary by person, it often includes severe stomach cramps, diarrhea, vomiting and a fever. 

The CDC said the illnesses from this outbreak started on dates ranging from March 2 to March 26 and the people who were infected range in age from just one year old to 83 years old. 

While the CDC has yet to identify the exact source of the outbreak, health officials generally recommend good handwashing technique and cooking meats thoroughly to prevent an E. coli infection.  

Number of E. coli outbreak cases by state (Data as of April 12) 

  • Kentucky - 54
  • Tennessee - 28
  • Georgia - 17 
  • Ohio - 7
  • Virginia - 2 
  • Indiana - 1

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