E. coli Information

Updated Thursday, August 25, 2022 3:15 p.m.

E. coli Investigation

Latest Update: This afternoon, CDC announced updated information regarding its multi-state E. coli investigation. A specific food has not yet been confirmed as the source of this outbreak, but many sick people reported eating sandwiches with romaine lettuce at Wendy’s restaurants in Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania before getting sick. Based on this information, Wendy’s is taking the precautionary measure of removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in the region. Wendy’s uses a different type of romaine lettuce for salads.

Investigators are working to confirm whether romaine lettuce is the source of this outbreak, and whether romaine lettuce used in Wendy’s sandwiches was served or sold at other businesses. Wendy’s is fully cooperating with the investigation.

Like CDC, Wood County Health Department is not advising that people avoid eating at Wendy’s restaurants or that people stop eating romaine lettuce.

  • Wendy’s is taking the precautionary measure of removing the romaine lettuce being used in sandwiches from restaurants in this region.
  •  At this time, there is no evidence to indicate that romaine lettuce sold in grocery stores, served in other restaurants, or in people’s homes is linked to this outbreak.
  • Wood County Health Department worked with Ohio Department of Health and Ohio Department of Agriculture to have food samples from a local Wendy’s tested. All food samples tested were negative for E. coli.
  • At this time, we have not seen cases outside of our initial exposure window that report eating at Wendy’s during the incubation period for E. coli.

 CDC will update its advice if other foods to avoid are identified.

Wood County Shiga Toxin E. coli cases

 Total cases reported in Wood County since July 31, 2022 23
Age range of cases 13-68
Total hospitalizations reported since July 31 7
Age range – hospitalized cases 21-60

The CDC is currently investigating reports of E. coli cases in Michigan and Ohio. Information on the CDC investigation is linked here: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/2022/o157h7-08-22/index.html

Please note that only those E. coli cases from Wood County whose serotype matches the one under investigation by the CDC are included in the CDC’s report. Currently ten cases from Wood County have a serotype that matches those under investigation by the CDC.

Information about E. coli

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these severe E. coli symptoms:

  • Diarrhea and a fever higher than 102°F
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down
  • Signs of dehydration, such as:
    • Not peeing much
    • Dry mouth and throat
    • Feeling dizzy when standing up

Most people with a STEC infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illnesses can start anywhere from 1 to 10 days after exposure. Most people get better within 5 to 7 days. Some infections are very mild, but others are severe or even life-threatening.

Have you experienced symptoms of e. Coli?  Let us know.

If you believe you are or have experienced the severe E. coli symptoms listed above from July 20 to the present, think about where you may have traveled, what you may have eaten and where in the 10 days prior to the start of your symptoms.

Then go to:  https://woodcountyhealth.org/health-promotion-and-preparedness/infectious-disease/ and click on the “take this survey” link in blue.

What is E. coli?

E. coli are a diverse group of bacteria that normally live in the intestines of humans and animals. Although most strains of these bacteria are harmless, some produce toxins that can make you sick and cause diarrhea. Shiga toxin-producing E. coli(STEC) is one of the strains that can make people sick.

Preventing the spread of E. coli

  • Hand washing with soap and water is the best prevention.
  • Anyone with active diarrhea should not prepare food until the diarrhea has ceased for at least 24 hours.
  • If you have small children, avoid touching items that children are likely to put into their mouths, like pacifiers or teethers.
  • If you have STEC infection and work in food, healthcare or child care:
    • You should remain off work until 48 hours after the diarrhea has ceased and 2 consecutive stool samples have been collected.
  • Additionally, anyone with diarrhea should avoid swimming, water-related activities and sexual contact with other people while experiencing symptoms.

Food safety: Follow these four steps to prevent E. coli.

  1. Clean: Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces often. Rinse fruits and vegetables under running water before eating, cutting, or peeling.
  2. Separate: Keep food that won’t be cooked separate from raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
  3. Cook: Use a food thermometer to make sure you have cooked your food to a temperature high enough to kill germs.
  4. Chill: Refrigerate perishable food (food that goes bad) within 2 hours. If the outside temperature is hotter than 90°F, refrigerate within 1 hour. Thaw food in the refrigerator, not on the counter.


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT E. COLI: https://www.cdc.gov/ecoli/

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