Cluster of Shiga-toxin E. coli in Philadelphia

Posted on September 5, 2019 by

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Since August 30th, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health has received fourteen reports of Shiga-toxin producing Escherichia coli among persons ages 7 – 90 years. All affected persons presented with signs of acute gastroenteritis with bloody and non-bloody diarrhea. Case investigation is ongoing but thus far has identified a few shared restaurant exposures.

Ongoing case identification is essential to better identify exposure risks, ensure appropriate clinical management and implement prevention strategies.

Summary points:

• There is a cluster of Shiga-toxin E. coli in Philadelphia.
• The cluster may be related to shared exposures at restaurants.
• Providers should test for Shiga toxin and E. coli O157 in all patients with acute communityonset gastroenteritis.
• Notify PDPH [business hours: (215) 685-6742, after hours: (215) 686-4514 of any patient with
confirmed or suspected STEC].


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Posted in: Family safety