(KMOV) -- The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta are currently investigating how an outbreak of E. coli has caused 22 people to become ill and nine hospitalized. At this point in time, CDC officials say they do not believe the illnesses are life-threatening.
Contaminated food is blamed for the outbreak. Authorities have been testing food from grocery stores in St. Louis, but no stores have found E.coli contamination.
So far, officials have not asked grocery stores to remove any food from shelves.
St. Louis County Health Department spokesman John Shelton says this appears to be a particularly virulent strain.
E. coli are a group of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness and pneumonia. The illness is typically spread through consumption of contaminated food, unpasteurized milk, contaminated water or contact with the feces of infected people.