The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has confirmed two more illnesses in an ongoing outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 reported from counties in central Missouri, bringing the total number of cases to seven. Raw milk has been cited as a common link among some of the illnesses, but state public health officials have not determined a definite source.
Illnesses have been reported in four counties: Boone (3 cases), Cooper (2), Howard (1) and Camden (1).
The three patients in Boone County are each known to have consumed raw milk within days of falling ill, though the state health department has not said whether or not the other four patients also consumed raw milk during the outbreak window.
Two patients — a 2-year-old and a 17-month-old — are known to be hospitalized after developing symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome, a kidney disease associated with severe E. coli infections.
Food Safety News first reported on Missouri’s outbreak on Monday.