Kentucky E. coli outbreak more than doubles in a week

Published: Apr. 4, 2019 at 3:16 PM EDT
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Kentucky health leaders say the state's E. coli outbreak has grown substantially since they initially alerted consumers about an increased number of cases.

The number of cases has grown to 46, which is up from 20 the previous week. Cases are occurring in all regions of Kentucky, and half of the cases involve people under 18.

Six were hospitalized as a result of the disease.

The health department is still working to track where the source is coming from.

"It is likely a food source because it has been distributed far and wide, whatever it is," CDC field officer and acting state epidemiologist Dr. Dough Thoroughman said. "To have this many cases in this short amount of time, it is unlikely that it is some other kind of source, so we think it is a good distribution of some sort."

Thoroughman said cooking your food will kill E. coli, and you should also wash produce diligently.

Other states are seeing similar activity, but Kentucky has the highest number of confirmed cases. Fayette County has the most in Kentucky with nine cases.