The same strain of E. coli, that's claimed the life of one young girl, is popping up in multiple states across the southeast, including Alabama. Do you need to be on alert?
This being called a multistate outbreak that's had cases confirmed in six states including Georgia, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama.
In the last two months, this E. coli strain 0145 has been linked to 14 illnesses, three of those were hospitalized, and the death of a young girl from New Orleans just last week.
"We've had two cases. In those two cases at least the organisms match each other," said State Health Officer, Dr. Don Williamson.
But Williamson says this shouldn't send anyone into a panic. He says the two cases in Alabama were in different parts of the state and both individuals have recovered.
"It's not an outbreak in Alabama. I would describe it as, Alabama has two cases of what is a multistate outbreak for which the source has not been indentified," said Williamson.
You can contract E. coli from water, another person, food, and a surface that's been handled by a sick person, but in this case health officials don't know the source. Until they find out, people here are taking their own precautions to keep themselves safe.
"Just staying away from those hamburgers," said Montgomery resident, Crystie Marlette.
"I try to make sure I go to places that have a reputation of cooking their food very well," said David Morine who lives in Alabama.
"Wash my hands and tell others to wash their hands please," said Caroline Martin, who is traveling through Alabama.
To keep yourself safe from E. coli, Williamson says all you can really do is wash your hands and avoid activities that will contaminate food.
The investigation into the source of the infection is ongoing at the state and federal level.
Symptoms include stomach cramps, diarrhea, and vomiting. Those especially at risk for severe or life threatening illness are the elderly, young children, and those weakened by health problems.