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health as it happens

News - West Kentucky Star

By West Kentucky Star Staff Oct. 18, 2021 | 07:01 AM | WESTERN KENTUCKY

The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services is warning Kentuckians of an E. coli outbreak.

Ten Kentuckians recently tested positive with a strain of E. coli. The reported cases mainly include adults, with many of them living in western Kentucky. No deaths have been linked to the outbreak, although six people have been hospitalized.

Public health investigators have yet to identify the outbreak's source. However, they have noted that some sort of food distribution is likely responsible.

Symptoms of E. coli typically include stomach cramps and diarrhea. People generally become ill two to five days after consuming food contaminated with E. coli. If you believe you have experienced symptoms associated with E. coli or test positive, consult your health care provider and your local health department.

Officials shared the following advice for preventing infections:

• Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water, especially before eating, after going to the bathroom, handling raw meat and eggs, and after handling or petting animals; • Thoroughly wash produce before eating; • Thoroughly cook meat; • Clean and sanitize food preparation areas; • Avoid swallowing lake or pool water; • Drink only pasteurized milk; • Frequently clean and sanitize restrooms, including doorknobs and faucets; and • Report diarrheal illnesses to your physician.