Ohio’s Franklin County Health Department tonight (6/4/08) is reporting that the death of a 52-year old Gahanna woman on May 27th was E. coli-related.

Ohio has had 12 confirmed cases of E. coli so far this year. There were 92 confirmed cases in 2007 and 160 the year before. But, officials say deaths have been rare.

The Columbus Dispatch newspaper says the woman who died was sick and hospitalized when investigators became aware of her infection, so they were unable to ask her where and what she’d eaten in the three to four days before she became ill.

The woman’s husband is being interviewed now about meals they shared, says epidemiologist Radhika Nagisetty. The woman was admitted to the hospital on May 17, and was being treated for "other conditions" when the E. coli infection was discovered.

The health officials did not know if E. coli was listed as an official cause or contributing cause of the woman’s death.  More can be found here.