Elizabethkingia in Illinois


A bacterial infection called Elizabethkingia has been linked to at least 18 deaths in Wisconsin. Symptoms, according to the Nirav Shah, the Director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, are similar to a cold.

"We are trying to understand exactly how this bacteria spreads - how it can be controlled, and what individuals it tends to strike. This is an area of internal scientific investigation…”

The bacteria is not uncommon and a majority of those infected are over 65-years old with preexisting health conditions. Shah says there are no indications of it transferring from person to person.

" Elizabethkingia is something that does exist in nature. It exists everywhere around us -- in our soil in streams, and lakes. It doesn't not typically cause infections in humans.”

The Department of Public Health says the CDC will have updates on the infections on its website.

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