Escherichia coli O157 Infection and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), 2002
During 2002, 160 culture-confirmed cases of Escherichia coli O157 infection (3.3 per 100,000 population) were reported. This represents a 27% decrease from the 219 cases reported in 2001 and a 23% decrease from the median number of cases reported annually from 1997 to 2001 (median, 209 cases; range, 175 to 219) (Figure 2). Fifty-one (32%) cases occurred in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The largest numbers of cases in Greater Minnesota occurred in St. Louis (nine cases), Winona (nine), Stearns (eight), Beltrami (five), and Olmsted (five) Counties. One hundred twenty-five (78%) cases occurred during June through October. The median age of case-patients was 17 years (range, 8 months to 87 years). Fifty-eight (36%) case-patients were hospitalized; the median duration of hospitalization was 3 days (range, 1 to 23 days).
Two food-borne outbreaks of E. coli O157 were identified during 2002 in Minnesota; both outbreaks also involved other states. The first outbreak was caused by contaminated retail ground beef; eight confirmed cases were identified among Minnesota residents. This outbreak led to a recall of 2.8 million pounds of ground beef. The second outbreak was associated with eating at a Mexican restaurant chain. This outbreak resulted in 23 confirmed cases in four states, including three cases in Minnesota. Lettuce was the suspected vehicle of transmission, but this was not confirmed.
In 2002, 11 cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) were reported. One death occurred in an 11-month-old male. From 1997 to 2002, the mean annual number of reported HUS cases was 15 (range, 11 to 22), and the overall case fatality rate was 11%. In 2002, the median age of HUS case patients was 3 years (range, 11 months to 87 years). All 11 case patients were hospitalized, with a median hospital stay of 13 days (range, 4 to 45 days). Eight (73%) HUS cases occurred during July through September. There were no outbreak-related cases of HUS. Two cases occurred among siblings. All cases reported in 2002 were post diarrheal. Nine (82%) cases had E. coli O157 cultured from stool.