Investigators believe the source of the outbreak is a few restaurants in Philadelphia, but they have not yet named the restaurants.
The Philadelphia Department of Public Health reported that all of the victims became ill after August 30, 2019.
They all “presented with signs of acute gastroenteritis with bloody and non-bloody diarrhea,” according to the statement, due to infections with Shiga-toxin strains of E. coli.
Infections with this strain of E. coli can progress to Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening type of kidney failure.
Outbreaks of E. coli often occur after people eat contaminated food or beverages, or through contact with an infected food-handler.
The symptoms of an infection with Shiga-toxin E. coli (STEC) may include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting, and sometimes fever. Most people recover within 5-7 days.