Ten persons recently positive for E. coli are reported to be reported by a healthy Kentucky agency, including several in western Kentucky.
A specific western Kentucky county or region was not published.
Two occurrences have resulted in the development of a rare but dangerous disease known as a hemolytic uremic syndrome in Kentucky Health and Family Services. It can induce renal failure and occur one week or more after diarrhea. It is a major consequence.
Investigators of public health did not identify the cause of the outbreak but indicated some kind of distribution of food is possible.
About 1 in 6 Americans get e.coli poisoning each year. You’re probably safe, but keep in mind that e.coli bacteria can linger on surfaces like cutting boards for several days. The best way to prevent E. coli is to wash hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, handling pets, or preparing food.
When washing hands, soap and water work best, but antibacterial liquid or gel (which has alcohol in it) also helps kill germs. It’s also a good idea to keep countertops and sinks clean and sanitized with cleaners that can kill E.coli.
Most cases of E.coli poisoning are the result of eating food contaminated by bacteria. But E. coli bacteria can also live on your hands. Even when you think you’ve washed hands thoroughly, bacteria can linger and contaminate the food you touch after washing.
When handling food, make sure to wash hands with soap after using the bathroom and changing diapers, before preparing food, and after handling raw meat, poultry, or seafood. And keep raw meat, poultry, or seafood separate from other foods.
When shopping for produce, look for items with bright, firm, unblemished skins. When buying meat, poultry, or fish, make sure the packaging is intact and that the food looks fresh.