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E. coli breakout kills 1, sickens others

June 8, 2012 at 1:33 PM

ATLANTA, June 8 (UPI) -- Georgia officials are working hard to find the source of an E. coli outbreak that has so far killed an infant and sickened 10 others across four states.

Epidemiologists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta are working to locate the source of a strain of E. coli that has been linked to the death of an infant in New Orleans, and has sickened 10 others in Georgia, Florida, Louisiana and Alabama, ABC News reported Friday.

"We know that these cases are all linked, and that would suggest that there was a common source somewhere along the way," J. Patrick O'Neal of the Georgia Department of Health said. "We just don't know where."

Officials say all 11 cases involved the same strain of E. coli, known as 0145. The 0145 strain produces a deadly toxin known as shiga, which can cause violent reactions, including severe kidney damage and death.

"The likely exposure is a food source," Louisiana Department of Health spokesman Tom Gasparoli said. "But this has yet to be confirmed. Often, the contact source is not found."

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