Disease forecaster Ascel Bio observed slightly higher than forecast rates of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) in parts of the U.S in the last week of January. Rates have since decreased to within forecast range, but cases are expected to increase over the next few months.
The arrival of spring is already bringing increasing temperatures. This provides a perfect humid and warm environment for the bacteria to grow and replicate.
STEC is usually linked to undercooked meats, especially hamburger meat, as well as unpasteurized milk, juice, raw fruits and vegetables and contaminated water. Importantly, however, there is an increasing body of literature showing STEC is also appearing in fish (particularly in tropical areas).
United States National Forecast for Shiga toxin-producing E. Coli (STEC)
Readers are reminded that correct handling of food and avoidance of raw/undercooked food by the immune suppressed is important.