Can parents of students who attended the Milk Makers Fest in Lynden, Washington help solve the E. coli outbreak that has sickened at least 22 people? Health officials think so, according to a report in The Northern Light.
Health officials from the Whatcom County Health Department, the Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have been working together to discover the source of the E.coli outbreak associated with the festival that took place April 21- 23 at he Northwest Washington Fairgrounds. More than 1,300 primary school children from all of the school districts in Whatcom County attended the event including: Bellingham, Blaine, Ferndale, Lynden, and Nooksack.
Parents of those children have been sent surveys with a map of the festival grounds showing the locations of the petting zoo, hay maze and a calf station. They’ve been asked to indicate which areas their children visited. Health officials are also calling parents on evenings and weekends to ask survey questions they hopw will determine a pattern for infected and uninfected children.
So far, there are 22 confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection. Ten people have been hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, four have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure.