E. coli Outbreak Reaches Kentucky

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

E. coli has spread quickly to 10 states including Kentucky and it’s believed to be linked to contaminated spinach.

Four Kentuckians are among nearly 100 around the nation sickened by an E. coli outbreak. The outbreak has reached 20 states so far leaving at least one person dead and many others ill. Now the Food and Drug Administration is sending out an urgent warning advising consumers to beware of bagged spinach.

“Most organisms such as E. coli you have to consume large quantities to make you sick, what sets this apart is you only have to consume small quantities to make you sick.”

Friday a 17-year-old from Paducah became the first reported Kentucky person sickened. The teen, who couldn’t be identified because of privacy concerns, is being treated at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville.

A spokesman for the hospital says the 17-year-old is a vegetarian who’d recently eaten spinach. Doctors at Vanderbilt say the teen has suffered kidney complications from the infection. Meanwhile three other Kentuckians were also affected, a child in Jefferson County and two women in their 50’s in Oldham County.

An FDA official says, “It’s increasing by the day. All I can say is I don’t know. We may be at the peak, we may not.”

Many grocers are pulling bagged spinach just as fast as they can get it off the shelves. Exactly how the contamination occured is still a mystery. But until health officials find out they’re asking consumers not to take any chances. Again this warning applies to consumers nationwide because of uncertainty over the origin of the tainted spinach and how widely it was distributed.

Sources of the Bacteria:

  • Uncooked Produce
  • Raw Milk
  • Unpasteurized Juice
  • Contaminated Water and Meat
  • Undercooked or Raw Hamburger

    Symptoms:

  • Severe bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps

    Most people recover with antibiotics in five to 10 days.

    We contacted several grocers here in Bowling Green. Aldi, Houchens and Kroger all say they’ve pulled bagged spinach from the shelves until further notice from the FDA.


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