September 1, 2014

Cleveland County NC Fair E. coli 0157:H7 Outbreak Numbers Changed

As of today, October 22, 2012, there are 98 people confirmed ill with the outbreak strain of E. coli 0157:H7 linked to the Cleveland County Fair. Sixty children and thirty-eight adults are part of the outbreak. Preliminary findings suggest that animal exposure may be the source of the outbreak.

Now, 60 children and 38 adults are confirmed ill with the outbreak strain of the bacteria. Twelve people are currently or have been hospitalized. There has been one death, of a toddler in Gaston county. The case count is as follows: Cleveland County (58), Gaston County (15, with one death), Lincoln County (13), Catawba County (1), Union County (2), Rutherford (5), York County, South Carolina (2), Cherokee County, South Carolina (2). Case counts change during an active investigation as cases are confirmed or disallowed as part of a particular outbreak.

Attorney Fred Pritzker, who has won lawsuits for clients in similar situations, says, “it’s important for patients in this outbreak to receive immediate medical care. Long term effects of an E. coli infection can be severe, even if the infection itself is relatively mild. And anyone who has developed HUS as a result of this outbreak should have their medical bills paid immediately.”

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The incubation period from the initial outbreak source has passed, but person to person transmission may still occur for the next several weeks. Symptoms of an E. coli 0157:H7 infection include diarrhea, which may be bloody, severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever. To prevent person to person transmission, it’s important to wash your hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers, before preparing meals, and eating and drinking. Anyone who is ill should not prepare food for others and should stay home until they are completely well. If you have experienced these symptoms, see your doctor immediately.

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