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Bloodstream Infection Outbreak in Wisconsin Linked to 18 Deaths

All patients were older than 65 and had serious underlying health conditions

blood cells

FRIDAY, March 4, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- The source of a bacterial bloodstream infection linked with the deaths of 18 people in Wisconsin is being sought by federal, state, and local health officials.

Elizabethkingia bacteria have infected 44 people in the state. Most of them are older than 65 and all have serious underlying health conditions, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, the Associated Press reported.

All 18 people who died tested positive for the bacteria, but it is not known if they died due to the infection, their pre-existing health problems, or both, state health officer Karen McKeown said, according to the AP.

Infection symptoms include fever, chills, shortness of breath, or a bacterial skin infection, health officials said, the AP reported.

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