Eau Claire (WQOW) – Wisconsin health officials are warning about an early outbreak of E.coli. So far, at least 20 cases have been reported in the state, including three kids.
Three of those cases have hit here in Eau Claire.
According to officials from Mayo Clinic, the Department of Health Services has been tracking the outbreak since November 13, but the source remains a mystery.
E.coli is spread through stool and can be found in products like undercooked beef, vegetables, fruits and unpasteurized milk or juice.
Eau Claire City-County Health Department Communicable Disease Manager Paulette Magur said most people recover from E.coli in a few days but some cases can be life-threatening especially for anyone with weakened immune systems.
Health officials still want the public to be aware of the signs and symptoms.
“Many people with E. coli have watery diarrhea a couple of days after they get infected. Sometimes they are having to go to the bathroom multiple times throughout the day. Occasionally they’ll have bloody diarrhea. That’s one of the indications of E. coli. They will also sometimes have a low-grade fever or stomach cramps,” Magur said.
Magur said the best way to prevent spreading E.coli is to wash your hands after using the bathroom and before preparing any food.
Doctors say E.coli is an infection that can cause damage to red blood cells and kidneys.
If left untreated, people can die from certain strains of the bacteria so officials said it is important to see a doctor if you have symptoms.
The Wisconsin Department of Health says the cases are not isolated to a single region and they are still investigating the source of the reported infections.