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One Dead, Six People Sick In Southern E. Coli Outbreak

Health officials are scrambling to find the source of an E. coli outbreak in six southern states that killed one little girl and left more than a dozen people sick.Officials believe all the victims contracted the same strain of E. coli which produces a deadly toxin and can cause violent reactions, kidney damage and in serious cases death.The largest cluster is in Atlanta where five cases have been discovered.”We know that these cases are all linked and that would suggest that there was a common source somewhere along the way,” said Dr. J. Patrick O’Neal from the Georgia Department of Health.Experts don’t know that cause of the outbreak but think it came from meat that was undercooked. The months from September to April are known as High-Prevalence Season for E. coli because outdoor barbecues increase the risk of bacteria in food.Health officials say to thoroughly cook raw foods and wash hands routinely while handling raw meat.

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