King County Public Health has released a statement saying that the Matador restaurant in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle has reopened as of 2:00 pm September 15, 2016. The restaurant has been cleaned and sanitized, and all opened and prepared food was discarded after an E. coli outbreak.
That restaurant is associated with an E. coli outbreak that sickened five people in the Seattle area. There are ten people infected with the same strain of E. coli bacteria. Seven of them ate food from the Matador. The other three patients, who all live outside King County, are “not known to have eaten at the Matador.”
News reports have stated that three of those sickened in King County have been hospitalized. And the others who are sick with the same E. coli strain may live in Colorado, Idaho, and New York.
E. coli is a bacteria found in the guts of ruminant animals such as cows and goats. The strains of E. coli that make people sick produce toxins called Shiga toxins. Those toxins get into the blood and destroy red blood cells. Those cells can get into the kidneys and clog small tubes within that organ, causing kidney failure.
The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhea that may be bloody and/or watery, a mild fever, nausea, and vomiting. Symptoms usually begin within 10 days of exposure to the pathogenic bacteria. Most people get better on their own, but some become very ill from dehydration and blood loss.
If an E. coli infection is improperly treated, or if the person sickened is very young, the illness may develop into hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication that can cause death. The symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, lethargy, a skin rash, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Anyone suffering from those symptoms must be taken to a doctor immediately.