IDPH: 10 people in Illinois diagnosed with Elizabethkingia since January 2014

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SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health has announced that 10 people in the state have been diagnosed with infections caused by a strain of Elizabethkingia anophelis.

IDPH officials say the infections were caused by a different strain than the one responsible for illnesses reported in Wisconsin.  Due to the Elizabethkingia infections in Wisconsin, Illinois health officials sent alerts to hospitals and laboratories, requesting that all cases of Elizabethkingia from as far back as January 2014 be reported and for specimens to be saved for testing.

IDPH officials also say the specimens were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for testing, resulting in confirmation of Elizabethkingia in 10 cases.  Officials say six of the individuals who tested positive for Elizabethkingia have died.  However, IDPH is not able to determine if Elizabethkingia was the cause of death, as many of the infected individuals had underlying health conditions.

Elizabethkingia bacteria are commonly found in the environment, but typically does not cause humans to become sick.  Officials say the majority of the infections identified within Illinois have been bloodstream infections and in patients who are over the age of 65.

For more information on Elizabethkingia, click here.

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