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3 Severe E. coli Illnesses in Mass. Town

Since May 20, three women have been admitted to Newton-Wellesley Hospital in Newton, Mass., suffering from severe E. coli infections in an apparent outbreak now under investigation by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

A spokeswoman for the state health department confirmed the investigation to Food Safety News after our reporters received a forwarded email written by a doctor at the hospital.

According to the doctor, all three women have been infected with E. coli O157:H7 and have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a kidney disease associated with the most severe E. coli infections.

First, a 53 year-old woman was admitted May 20. A 44 year-old woman was admitted on June 6, and a 41 year-old woman entered the emergency department on June 11.

“The demographics of this current cluster is similar to that of the German/French experience in 2011 with the new O104:H4 strain with enteroaggregative and Shiga toxin phenotype,” the doctor wrote, referring to a massive European E. coli outbreak in the summer of 2011 that ultimately sickened nearly 4,000 and killed 53. That outbreak was linked to fresh sprouts grown in Germany’s Lower Saxony.

© Food Safety News
  • connie

    I live in Wellesley and my 14 year old son was very ill and had diarrhea, stomach cramps, headache and broke out in hives. I did take him to his doctor and he said he had a stomach infection. Now I think it was E. Coli. He was really sick for two weeks. Who do I report this to?

    • MA board of health should be informed of this

    • riverdivine

      Connie- Its a good question! I wish someone here could answer it. :/
      As a fellow layperson, I would guess, maybe, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) ?
      Best of luck to you and your son- I hope that he is feeling better!

    • anonymous

      You should call the Massachusetts Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800 and ask to speak to the Epidemiologist On-Call.