Local health officials said they were testing water, skin-care products, and over-the-counter medications to identify the source of the Elizabethkingia bacteria.
“At this time, the source of these infections is unknown and the department is working diligently to contain this outbreak,” a Wisconsin health official told a press briefing.
Early detection and treatment are especially important for the best chance of recovery, said the Wisconsin Health Department.
The bacterial infection was first reported at the end of 2015, with the symptoms of fever, breath shortness and chills.
Most of the Elizabethkingia patients are the elderly with at least one underlying illness, including diabetes, renal disease and cirrhosis. No cases have been reported among children, and there is no evidence of transmission from one person to another, said the department.
Named after bacteriologist Elizabeth King, Elizabethkingia was discovered in 1959. Enditem