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CDC: Wendy’s E. coli Outbreak nears 100 and expands to 6 States


Fast Facts
• Illnesses: 97
• Hospitalizations: 43
• Deaths: 0
• States: 6 – Indiana, Ken
• Recall: No
• Investigation status: Active

Since the last update on August 25, 2022, 13 more illnesses have been reported to CDC. As of August 31, 2022, a total of 97 people infected with the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7 have been reported from six states.

Illnesses started on dates ranging from July 26, 2022, to August 15, 2022.

Sick people range in age from 3 to 94 years, with a median age of 22 years, and 55% are male. Of 81 people with information available, 43 have been hospitalized and 10 developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious condition that can cause kidney failure. No deaths have been reported.
The true number of sick people in this outbreak is likely higher than the number reported, and the outbreak may not be limited to the states with known illnesses. This is because some of the recent illnesses have not yet been reported to PulseNet as it usually takes 3 to 4 weeks to determine if a sick person is part of an outbreak. In addition, some people recover without medical care and are not tested for E. coli.

State and local public health officials have been interviewing people about the foods they ate in the week before they got sick. Among 67 people with detailed food history, 54 (81%) reported eating at a Wendy’s restaurant in the week before their illness started. The Wendy’s restaurants where sick people ate are in Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. People reported eating a variety of menu items, including burgers and sandwiches. Of 54 people with detailed information about what they ate at Wendy’s, 37 (69%) reported eating romaine lettuce served on burgers and sandwiches. Investigators continue to analyze data at the ingredient level to determine if there are any other possible foods that could be the source of the outbreak.


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