October 18, 2021

Possible E. coli Outbreak at Silliman School in Louisiana

Silliman Institute┬áin Clinton, Louisiana may have experienced an E. coli outbreak, according to WBRZ. The school has been closed since March 31, 2015 and will extend its Easter break through Monday, April 6, 2015. The statement on the school’s website states, “Silliman is closed Tuesday, March 31st and Wednesday, April 1st to extend the Easter break that is scheduled for Thursday, April 2nd through Monday, April 6th. We will resume regular schedule Tuesday, April 7th unless otherwise notified.”

SalmonellaThere is no information about the possible outbreak on the Silliman web site and nothing on the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals web site. News reports state that as many as 18 students are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, and are being tested for E. coli and norovirus. Other reports state that one child may have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection.

Hemolytic uremic syndrome can destroy the kidneys and can be life-threatening. Symptoms of this complication include bloody diarrhea, painful cramps, fever, irritability, and lethargy. Patients may have low to no urine output, pale skin and easy bruising, skin rash, jaundice (yellowing of the skin), and decreased consciousness. If your child has been suffering from bloody diarrhea, take her to the doctor immediately, especially if any of these symptoms are present.

These illnesses have been classified as an outbreak, which is defined as two or more unrelated people having the same symptoms. The school was cleaned with bleach and chlorine on March 31, 2015. The school includes students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade.

Some of the students have been hospitalized as a result of their illness. Louisiana law does not permit the disclosure of medical investigations and illnesses, so getting information has been difficult.

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