August 19, 2018

E. coli and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Linked to Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch, MN Lawyer Investigating

Minnesota E. coli lawyer Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are investigating the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to animals at Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch in Dayton, MN, that has sickened 3 children. One of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of an E. coli infection that causes kidney failure, which can lead to a host of other medical problems, including seizures, coma, stroke, multiple organ failure, heart attack, and pancreatitis.

Goats-Petting-Zoo-2“Most parents are not aware that children can contract E. coli from animal contact,” said Pritzker, who recently won a case for a child who contracted E. coli-HUS after contact with a llama at a Minnesota petting zoo. “It is the responsibility of petting zoo owners to make sure the animals are kept clean and that there are hand washing stations for the children.”

In 2013, Pritzker filed suit in another E. coli-HUS case on behalf of a family whose young son died after animal contact at a county fair. He passed away only 12 days after visiting the fair. “This tragic loss was preventable,” said Pritzker.

In the current outbreak linked to Dehn’s Pumpkin Patch, the three children range in age from 15 months to 7 years and are residents of the Twin Cities metro area. The children visited the farm on October 12 or 13, and became ill on October 16 or 18.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) is trying to determine if anyone else who visited the farm became ill. To date, two additional people have reported symptoms consistent with E. coli O157:H7 infection and are being tested. These people visited Dehn’s on October 18. All of the confirmed and suspected cases had contact with cows and/or goats at Dehn’s.

MDH is recommending that anyone who visited Dehn’s Pumpkins since October 12 and develops symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection should contact their health care provider immediately and inform them of their possible involvement in this outbreak. Antibiotics should not be used to treat E. coli symptoms because antibiotics can promote the development of HUS, according to MDH. And children under the age of five are more likely to develop HUS than older patients.

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