E. coli second case

  JOHNSON CITY-- Centers for Disease Control (CDC) officials have confirmed a second case of E. coli bacteria in Johnson City, but representatives with the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office said Monday the two cases are not related and that the occurrence is not unusual.
  The CDC were sent samples for DNA testing to determine if the most recent case of Escherichia coli O157:H7, found in a 63-year-old Johnson City woman, is the identical potent strain of E. coli that was responsible for the death of 6-year-old, Jacob Luis Francisco, in June at the Johnson City Medical Center.
  According to Dr. Lawrence Moffatt, medical director at NTRHO, the CDC does DNA tracking to trace the bacteria to a common source, but the bacteria found in each of the two cases has a different "fingerprint", meaning they are not connected.
  "This should not be played up," said Moffatt. "Cases can often create a panic when it's not justifiable."
  Moffatt said since the two cases have different "fingerprinting" there is no way to determine the source of contamination. Most people assume the contamination comes from a restaurant, but it can easily come from drinking water or food cooked at home.
  "Prevention is the way to go." said Moffatt.
  According to Moffatt, ground beef is a risk factor of E. coli, so, when eating out, people should be sure meat is cooked thoroughly. Hand washing and basic sanitation can also prevent the spread of the bacteria.
  Making sure all food is well done and that raw food is well washed are the best prevention methods, according to the CDC. Undercooked hamburger should be sent back a new bun and clean plate requested.
  With any diarrhea-related illness, it is important, especially for children and the elderly, to seek medical attention early on to treat the illness before it becomes a serious problem.