Connecticut is one of seven states where cases of E. coli poisoning have been reported. The Centers for Disease Control is reporting 17 cases, including two in Connecticut.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service are investigating, but so far haven’t linked a specific food, grocery store, or restaurant chain as the source.
Most people infected with E. coli develop diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting within three to four days of swallowing the germ that causes the sickness. People who develop symptoms should seek medical care and contact their local health department to report the illness. They should also track the foods they’ve eaten and restaurants they’ve eaten in the week prior to becoming ill.
Maura Downes, director of communications for the Connecticut Department of Public Health said the best way to prevent contracting the illness is by washing your hands.
“Wash your hands every time you use the restroom or change diapers,” she said “Wash your hands before and after preparing food and after contact with animals, cooking meats to proper temperatures, thoroughly washing all surfaces that touch raw meats, avoiding unpasteurized dairy products and avoid preparing foods or drink for other people when you yourself are sick.”
Downes said the Department of Public Health is assisting the CDC in their investigation.