E. coli outbreak reported

Cases of E. coli in Wood County appear to be related, according to a Tuesday update by the Wood County Health Department.

Of the samples sent to Ohio Department of Health for testing, five have come back and all of those have been the same serotype, said Beth Peery, public health information and education manager.

“That tells us that there may be a link between cases. Approximately 30% of Shiga Toxin E. coli (STEC) cases are this serotype, so it’s not definitive but does help us identify next steps to pursue in the investigation,” Peery said.

“At this stage, we are working with state and federal partners to explore what those links could be and understand next steps. As we explore possible links, various partners at the state and federal level can help us better understand the value of individual lines of inquiry.”

No new cases or hospitalizations have been identified since yesterday. The last reported illness had an onset date of Aug. 9, Peery said.

As of Monday, there had been 18 cases, including six hospitalizations, reported.

Health Commissioner Ben Robison briefed the board of health about the outbreak at Thursday’s meeting. At that time there were 15 cases.

From Jan. 1 2016 to June 30, 2022, Wood County experienced a total of 27 E. coli cases.

The age range of cases is 13-60 years.

The health department is continuing to monitor for cases, and ask that anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of E. coli to report their symptoms to their healthcare provider and be tested. Reports can also be submitted at https://woodcountyhealth.org/health-promotion-and-preparedness/infectious-disease/.

Escherichia coli (abbreviated as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods and intestines of people and animals, according to the Centers for Disease Control website. E. coli are a large and diverse group of bacteria. Some kinds of E. coli can cause diarrhea, while others cause urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia and other illnesses.