October 28, 2011
Department of Health and Senior Services continues to assist in food borne illness investigation
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) continues to assist with the ongoing investigation of suspected food borne illness in the St. Louis region. Currently, a team of epidemiologists, disease investigators and food safety experts are working in coordination with our partners at the local and federal level to identify the cause of the reported illness.
Meanwhile, the State Public Health Laboratory has received and begun testing 22 specimens reported to contain E. coli. While tests to definitively confirm a specific E. coli strain take several days, five of these specimens have tested positive for shiga toxin, a byproduct of E. coli. Testing of the other specimens is currently underway.
Public health officials continue to urge anyone experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea, to seek medical attention.