November 05, 2011

**Nov. 5, 2011 UPDATE** DHSS updates status of investigation into E. coli outbreak in St. Louis region

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is leading a team of local, federal, and state public health experts in investigating the cause of the E. coli outbreak that has hit the St. Louis region. The investigation involves laboratory analysis, environmental sampling and interviews of reported cases. This information is then combined to determine the possible cause(s) of the outbreak.

Numbers Update - October 7 to November 5

Number of individuals confirmed to have E. coli connected to the St. Louis investigation: 27
Number of food samples, connected to the St. Louis outbreak, tested to date: 55
Number of food samples confirmed to have E. Coli: 0

DHSS today added two new cases based on lab results from specimens submitted to the State Public Health Laboratory last week. The two cases have the same E. coli fingerprint as that observed in the outbreak. One of the specimens is from a person in Boone County. That case is being added to the count because the individual reported spending time in St. Louis during the timeframe established by the investigative team for the outbreak. Investigators continue to work with public health officials to determine whether three other specimens previously submitted from Boone County are connected to the outbreak.

Public health officials again urge consumers to always wash all produce thoroughly with water before eating, cook meat thoroughly, and always wash their hands after using the restroom. For additional food safety tips and more information on E. coli illness and investigation, visit

Public health officials continue to urge anyone experiencing gastrointestinal symptoms, including severe stomach cramps, diarrhea or nausea, to seek medical attention.