Illinois resident died of infection that's killed 18 in Wisconsin

(Marilyn Nieves)

An Illinois resident has died of an infection that matches a same strain of bacteria responsible for an ongoing outbreak in Wisconsin, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced Tuesday.

The Illinois resident was diagnosed earlier this year with Elizabethkingia anophelis and later died. It was the same strain of bacteria that caused a Wisconsin outbreak which has killed 18 people, according to a statement from the IDPH. It is the first confirmed case in Illinois.

In Wisconsin, there have been 57 confirmed cases, including 18 deaths; and Michigan is reporting one confirmed fatal case, according to IDPH. The majority of patients are over 65, and all have had underlying health conditions.

“It has not yet been determined whether the death associated with this outbreak were caused by the bacterial infection, the patients’ underlying health conditions, or both,” according to the statement.

Elizabethkingia is a common organism in water and soil, but rarely causes infections. Health officials are testing samples from several potential sources, including health care products, water sources and the environment.

“Illinois is working closely with the CDC ,and Wisconsin and Michigan health officials to investigate this outbreak and develop ways to prevent additional infections,” IDPH Director Nirav Shah said in the statement.

IDPH did not say where in Illinois the fatal case occurred.