Foodborne Illness Outbreak Database

This database provides summaries of significant food and water related outbreaks occurring since 1984 caused by E. coli, Salmonella, Hepatitis A, Campylobacter and other pathogens. Read more »

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2016 STEC Outbreak Linked to Stream Water, California

In May 2016 four cases of Shiga toxin E. coli (STEC) were reported to public health officials in northern California. Case-patients, ranging in age 1 to 3 years, had played in a stream adjacent to a children's playground within a city park.Exposure of the case-patients occurred on 3 separate days spanning a 2-week period. One patient developed hemolytic uremic syndrome. Water samples were collected from the exposure site 7 days after the last case-patient was exposed and weekly thereafter for 17 weeks. Samples were tested quantitatively for fecal indicator organisms. Throughout the study period, all water samples exceeded recreational water quality limits for E. coli and enterococci levels. E. coli O157 was isolated from stream water each week for the first 4 weeks. Additionally, an Stx2-producing E. coli non-O157 was isolated from the stream in the first week of sampling. In the absence of an obvious source (e.g., upstream agricultural operation or sewer leak) investigators collected 13 samples of fresh wildlife scat were collected along the stream for STEC culture and PCR. Six scat specimens (4 deer, 1 coyote, 1 river otter) were positive for stx1 and stx2 by PCR. STEC O157 isolates were compared for case-patients, water, deer scat and coyote scat. PFGE patterns were highly similar among all isolates. Analysis by MLVA showed that case-patient, water, and deer scat isolates were identical.

  • Outbreak began:
  • May 2016
  • Affected Country:
  • US
  • Affected States/Territories:
  • California
  • Organism(s):
  • E. coli O157:H7
  • Vehicle(s):
  • recreational water
  • Molecular Results Available:
  • Yes
  • Test Results:
  • EXHX01.0238
  • Location(s):
  • Park
  • Brand Name(s):
  • Product Subject to Recall:
  • No
  • Total ill:
  • 4
  • Number ill by Case Definition Known:
  • Yes
  • Number Laboratory Confirmed Cases:
  • 4
  • Number Probable Cases:
  • 0
  • Number Possible Cases:
  • 0
  • Anyone Hospitalized:
  • Yes
  • Number Hospitalized:
  • 1
  • Any Deaths:
  • No
  • Number Dead:
  • 0

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