Florida doctors watch E-coli outbreaks closely

What's Going Around

JACKSONVILLE, Fla – There have been 52 people sickened by e-coli in nine states here in the U-S.  There are also more recent concerns after 30 students got sick after eating at a Chipotle in Boston. It's hasn't been linked to E-coli but it's being investigated. So far Florida has not been hit but local doctors are watching and waiting just in case.I talked with an emergency medicine doctor at UF Health about these cases and why they're so widespread and could potentially hit the state.

"Once it gets in the food supply and meats get shipped out throughout the United States you'll usually see it pop up throughout the US depending on where that meat is being delivered to. Once we see it pop up in certain states,  we always have a higher index of suspicion that it will make its way to Florida," says Dr. Ashley Norse.

Dr. Norse says if you do get infected with the bacteria you'll experience nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea and if you see blood in your stool it's a clear indication you need to see your doctor.

"Worst case is we will prescribe an antibiotic because it is a bacterial infection but in most cases patients presenting with significant or bloody diarrhea they have to be monitored for their hydration status.  You're really going to need fluids to replace the fluids that they're losing and if they're bleeding,  we need to make sure that they're not bleeding so bad that it needs to be treated as well," says Norse.

Dr. Norse says be extra careful that you're cooking your meats thoroughly and  washing your vegetables. She did say when E-coli gets into foods that are typically eaten raw you'll see the bacteria surface more.

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