The E.coli outbreak linked to consumption of raw milk produced by Stroupe Farm in Howard County Missouri continues to expand, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (MDHSS).
The outbreak, which began in late March, now includes 14 patients with confirmed cases of of E. coli O157:H7 bacterial infections, Gena Terlizzi, MDHSS spokeswoman, told Food Poisoning Bulletin today. The current case count by county is as follows:
- Boone: 5
- Cooper: 3
- Howard: 3
- Jackson: 1
- Callaway: 1
- Marion: 1
Nine of those sickened said they drank raw milk from Stroupe Farm before they became ill. Although tests of product and environmental samples from the dairy were all negative, raw milk from the farm is the only commonality shared by those who became ill, according to MDHSS officials. The patients range in age from 1-39 years old, a 2 year old from Boone county remains hospitalized, said Terlizzi.
Symptoms of an E.coli infection include abdominal cramping and diarrhea which is often watery or bloody. In some cases, a condition called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), develops. HUS usually develops in small children and can cause kidney failure, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment options include fluid replacement, dialysis and blood transfusions.
As Missouri health officials investigate the outbreak, they continue to remind consumers that drinking raw milk is an unnecessary health risk.