Ecoli Outbreak – Essay Example

The paper "Ecoli Outbreak" is a worthy example of an essay on agriculture.
The American States were affected on September 14, 2006, by the outbreak of a multistate infection that is spread by Escherichia coli found in fresh spinach. The strain that causes this infection is Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157: H7. 205 people were infected distributed in 20 states in the United States. The infection that spread across the states lasted till October where they people succumbed. The pathogen belongs the Enterobacteriaceae family that causes gastrointestinal illness spread through ingestion of contaminated food. The main symptoms of the infection are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, occasional vomiting, Low-grade fever and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) that cause kidney, brain & colon damage. The micro-organisms attach to the epithelial lining of the cells. The majority of the infected were a woman at 71% with 22% of the remaining percentage being children below the age of 5 years. The investigative team comprised of experts from the Centers for disease control & prevention, US Food & Drug Administration and also California’s Department of Health Services (CDHS). The experts collected the spinach, conducted interviews with the affected and where fingerprints of the pathogen were found in 13 samples investigated. The source of infection was traced to infected irrigation water where the surface water was exposed to feces droppings from cattle &wild life. There was also the presence of flaws in the transportation and processing procedures. The preliminary findings indicated that cattle being carriers of the E. Coli O157: H7, they could have contaminated the water through their droppings. Improper cooking of the spinach is another likely cause of the spread. From the findings, it is important to cook foods as recommended before ingestion. It also concluded that farmers should ensure that their irrigation water is free from contamination by wild animals and livestock.