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Published On: Tue, Aug 6th, 2013

Arizona: E. coli outbreak linked to Federico’s Mexican Restaurant climbs to 33 cases

The outbreak of E. coli O157 in Maricopa County, Arizona has climbed to 33 cases and 15 hospitalizations, according to a Maricopa County Departments of Public Health and Environmental Services tweet about an hour ago.

Computer Screen Shot

Computer Screen Shot

 

 

 

 

The investigation into this outbreak is centered around Federico’s Mexican Restaurant located at 13132 W Camelback.

Four days ago, health officials said based on interviews with individuals stricken with the bacterial disease shows that they either purchased food from or eaten at this particular Federico’s.

“Just to be clear, it is only this one Federico’s establishment where many of the cases have reported eating or purchasing food,” said Dr Bob England, director of MCDPH Friday. “The investigation remains ongoing and we have all hands on deck to figure out the specific source.”

The Maricopa County Environmental Services Department (MCESD) responded by inspecting the facility immediately and taking food samples. “The restaurant has been extremely cooperative with our investigation.  In fact, out of an abundance of caution and concern for their customers, the restaurant is voluntarily closing,” said Steven Goode, deputy director for MCESD. 

 

Image/CDC

Image/CDC

Health authorities advise anyone who has eaten at this particular Federico’s Mexican Food from on or after July 23 AND is experiencing bloody diarrhea should see a healthcare provider so a stool culture can be ordered. Options for people without a health care provider include urgent care centers or community health centers.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

The symptoms of  E. coli O157:H7 infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F/less than 38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5–7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Around 5–10% of those who are diagnosed with STEC infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

The MCESD reminds health care providers to be aware of this outbreak because treating children with antibiotics for this bacteria can increase the risk of serious consequences. Providers who have patients who they suspect may be related to this outbreak should order a stool culture and contact MCDPH’s disease reporting line at 602-747-7500.

“Unfortunately, there is still much to uncover about this outbreak such as what specific food may have been contaminated, how the food was contaminated and how many people have been exposed.  As we discover this information, we will continue to share with the public,” England added.

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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