More than 2,000 people are sick and 20 dead in Germany from an E. coli outbreak that German officials still don't know the source of. The scare has spread to the U.S., where many are worried about a similar outbreak happening here. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, reported Tuesday that most food-borne illnesses were down, except for salmonella and a group of rare E. coli bacteria related to the German one. Is hysteria warranted?
Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, an infectious disease doctor in New York City and a professor of medicine at Weill-Cornell Medical Center, doesn't believe so. He believes the lack of open conversation about the origins of many food-borne illnesses—which is fecal matter getting into our food—has led to us being blind to the situation. He's written an article for Slate, laying out his thoughts on the matter.