In the past few months, authorities have identified 14 people in six states (Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Tennessee) as being sickened by the same strain of E. coli. This strain, STEC-O145 (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli), is less common than STEC-O157. Often referred to as Non-O157 E. coli, this current strain is less likely to cause severe illness, yet in the current outbreak three people have been hospitalized and a 21-month-old girl has died. Officials from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintain that there is no reason for great concern, but there is a reason for increased awareness.
On Memorial Day, tragedy struck as a 23 year old man drowned in Bigelow Hollow State Park in Union, CT, which borders Mashapaug Lake. The man was swimming with friends and family, and several people saw him go under water, but could not locate him. Divers were able to find him, but he was pronounced dead later that day.