LOUSVILLE, Ky. – The Kentucky Department for Public Health announced Thursday that its lab has confirmed three cases of E-coli in local residents.
Very little information is known at the time, pending further test results, but two of the people infected live in Kentucky and one lives in Indiana.
Results in further testing expected back next week will determine if the cases are linked. Those results may help investigators track down the source of the infection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the people take the following measures to help prevent E-coli infection:
Know your risk of food poisoning. People at higher risk for foodborne illness are pregnant women and newborns, children, older adults, and those with weak immune systems.
Consult your healthcare provider if you think you might be ill with E. coli infection.
Practice proper hygiene, especially good hand washing
o Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food.
o Wash your hands after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard).
o Always wash your hands before preparing and feeding bottles or foods to an infant, before touching an infant's mouth, and before touching pacifiers or other things that go into an infant's mouth.
o Keep all objects that enter infants' mouths (such as pacifiers and teethers) clean.
o If soap and water aren't available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and running water.
Follow clean, separate, cook, chill guidelines, which can be found at FoodSafety.gov
Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to a temperature of at least 160Â°F (70ËšC). Use a thermometer to verify the temperature, as color is not a very reliable indicator of how thoroughly meat has been cooked.
o Prevent cross-contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards, and utensils after they touch raw meat.
Avoid consuming raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
Avoid swallowing water when swimming and when playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools, and backyard "kiddie" pools.