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The World in Medicine
February 10, 1999

First Human Infection

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JAMA. 1999;281(6):503. doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.503-JWM90000-3-1

An outbreak of diarrheal illness 3 years ago in Japan appears to have been the first reported infection in humans with the O118:H2 strain of Escherichia coli.

The outbreak, which occurred at a junior high school in Komatsu, was believed to have been caused by salad served with a contaminated utensil. Of 561 people (526 students and 35 adult staff) who were identified as at risk for infection, 43% were symptomatic and 22.5% developed diarrheal illness. Nine were hospitalized, including three who underwent surgery for acute appendicitis, according to a report in January's electronic edition of Pediatrics (available at http://www.pediatrics.org).

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