US: E. coli outbreak hits East Coast, kills 2
Two people, one in New Hampshire and a second in New York, have died, 16
hospitalized and overall 28 sickened in an outbreak of E. coli that may
be linked to ground beef distributed on the East Coast, the Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention says.
As of Oct. 28, there are 28 persons whose illness appear to be
associated with this outbreak, all but three from the Northeast.
Eighteen of the 28 are from New England, says the CDC's Lola Scott
Russell. There have been two cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome
associated with this outbreak.
The New York patient had underlying medical conditions, says Russell.
The New Hampshire death is still under investigation, she says. Patient
were between 1 and 84 years old - 68% were male. Most became ill between
the middle of Septemeber to the middle of October.
State health departments, the CDC and the Dept. of Agriculture began to
investigate the outbreak in mid-October. Very early ground beef became
the focal point, Russell says.
The hamburger was produced by Ashville, N.Y.-based Fairbank Farms, which
recalled more than 545,000 pounds of its product on Oct. 31. The ground
beef was distributed in the Northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the
company says customers can return the meat to the store where they
bought it for full credit.