MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The state of Alabama has four cases of E. Coli and two cases of Rotavirus.

The Alabama Department of Public health confirmed that four cases of Escherichia coli have been detected in the state. Two young children also have Rotavirus in Northeastern Alabama. 

The Mobile County Health Department will monitor the possible spread of these illnesses.

Gastrointestinal diseases like E. Coli and Rotavirus are spread through fecal matter, according to Dr. Rendi Murphree with the MCHD. If ingested, a person could be at risk for the diseases. 

Health officials are not required to be notified of Rotavirus, since it is prevented with vaccination. 

Symptoms of E coli. include:

  • Severe stomach cramps
  • Diarrhea (often bloody)
  • Vomiting
  • Fever up to 101 degrees Fahrenheit (not the most common symptom)

To lower the risk of gastrointestinal diseases, residents are encouraged to:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing diapers, and before preparing or eating food. Also, wash your hands after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even in your own back yard).
  • Cook meats thoroughly. Ground beef and meat that has been needle-tenderized should be cooked to an internal temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Avoid raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and unpasteurized juices (like fresh apple cider).
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming or playing in lakes, ponds, streams, swimming pools and backyard “kiddie” pools.
  • Prevent cross-contamination in food preparation areas by thoroughly washing hands, counters, cutting boards and utensils after touching raw meat. 

To report a possible case, call Inspection Services at 251-690-8116 or email iscomplaints@mchd.org