E. coli O157:H7 2001

View ISDH's Quick Facts on E. coli O157:H7

View CDC's E. coli O157:H7 page

Rates presented are per 100,000 population and are based on the 2000 U.S. Census.

  Cases Incidence
Total 90 1.5
Race-specific cases and rates1
White  58 1.1
Black  4 0.8*
Other2   0  
Sex-specific cases and rates
Female 47 1.5
Male 43 1.4

Escherichia coli O157:H7 infection is a bacterial disease usually transmitted through raw or undercooked foods of animal origin or foods cross-contaminated by animal products or feces. It has commonly been associated with raw or undercooked hamburger. Outbreaks have also been attributed to unwashed produce, unpasteurized juices, and swimming in or drinking untreated surface water. It can also be transmitted person-to-person and is a special concern in the day-care setting. Rarely, as a result of E. coli O157:H7, patients can develop hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). This complication is marked by kidney dysfunction, hemolytic anemia, and platelet loss and can be fatal. Populations at greatest risk include young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. In children ages 5 and younger, between 2-5% of E. coli O157:H7 cases will develop HUS.

There were 90 cases of E. coli O157:H7 reported in Indiana in 2001, which represents a 31% decrease from 2000 (Figure EC1). Incidence of disease was greatest during the summer and early fall months, as seen in Figure EC2.

Age-specific rates were greatest among infants (7.1) and preschool children (5.6) (Figure EC3). Both of these age groups have a higher rate of developing HUS. The higher rate of illness in preschool children highlights the increased risk for transmission in daycare centers, which can be avoided through excluding children with diarrhea and employing good handwashing practices.

Case rates for males (1.4) were slightly lower than those for females (1.5). Case rates among whites were slightly higher (1.1) than blacks (0.8).  No cases for other races were reported. However, 28 cases did not report any race data.

Only 6 counties had 5 or more reported cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection.  Of these counties, Floyd County had the highest incidence rate (8.5).  The number of reported cases for Indiana counties can be found in Table EC1.  There were no reported outbreaks of E. coli O157:H7 infection in Indiana in 2001.

Of the 90 confirmed E. coli O157:H7 cases reported in 2001, seven (8%) reported developing HUS. All were white, three were male, and four were female. Three cases were in those ages 1-4, one in ages 5-9, one in ages 10-19, and two were in adults. All cases survived.

It is recommended that all clinical laboratories routinely screen all stool specimens for sorbitol-negative E. coli. Lack of sorbitol fermentation in E. coli is a biochemical marker for the O157:H7 type. The ISDH requests that clinical laboratories submit all E. coli O157:H7 or sorbitol-negative E. coli isolates to the ISDH Laboratories for free confirmation and subtyping services.

Table EC1: E. coli O157:H7 - Reported Cases by County, Indiana, 2001

E. coli O157:H7 - Reported Cases by County
Indiana, 2001
County Number of
Reported Cases
Incidence Rate per 
100,000 Population
Allen 8 2.4
Bartholomew 5 7.0
Floyd 6 8.5
Lake 7 1.4
Marion 18 2.1
Tippecanoe 5 3.4

Source: Indiana State Department of Health
Note: Rates based on 2000 U.S. Census population.  All other counties had fewer than 
5 cases and are not reported to protect case confidentiality.  All rates based on less than 20 
cases and should be considered unstable.



1 - Race was unknown for 28 of the reported cases.

2 - "Other" includes American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, and multiracial. 

* - Rate based on less than 20 cases and should be considered unstable.