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Authorities say the source of a new E. coli outbreak is a mystery

Seventy-two people in five states have been sickened, but officials say there is no need for restaurants to drop any products.
Photograph: Shutterstock

Health authorities are scrambling to identify the source of an E. coli outbreak that has sickened 72 people in five states.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says it has not linked the contamination to a restaurant, supermarket or other food source. Nor has it identified any particular type of food as a possible culprit.

Until the search narrows, the CDC says there is no need for restaurants or retailers to avoid selling or serving a particular product.

Twenty-two of the victims are located in Kentucky. The other states where people were sickened are Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia and Ohio.

“This is a rapidly evolving investigation,” the food safety watchdog said in an April 5 posting on its website. “We will update our advice if a source is identified.”

Incidences of E. coli poisoning were fielded between March 2 and March 29. More victims typically come forward after an outbreak is publicized.

Eight of the current victims required hospitalization. No fatalities were reported.

Consumers are being urged to contact their local health department if they believe they were sickened by E. coli 0103 and to start writing down what they remembered eating in the prior week.

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