May 24, 2018

E. coli Outbreak Associated with Lake Wildwood Main Beach, CA

Five young children have been sickened after allegedly swimming at Lake Wildwood Main Beach, according to the Nevada County Public Health Department in California. Tests for three of the children are preliminarily positive for E. coli infections. Three of the children have been hospitalized. News reports state that others, including adults, may be sick as well.

E.-coli microscope

The Lake Wildwood Main Beach area was closed temporarily as a precaution late last week. Public health officials collected water samples near the shoreline and the swim area. The Main Beach and swimming area are closed now, because test results received on July 29, 2017 showed elevated fecal coliform, which are bacteria that cause serious illness. The Health Department is working with the Nevada County Environmental Health Department in this investigation.

Public health officials advise no recreational swimming in the lake until additional beach areas are tested. This warning is most critical for young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

No common food or animal exposure has been identified in this outbreak so far. The Lake Wildwood Main Beach area has been identified as the common source of exposure, but officials have not said the area is definitively linked to the outbreak.

There are wastewater treatment plant pump stations near the area, but they have been inspected by Public Works. Officials say that all of the systems are functioning correctly and there are no current leaks.

The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is usually bloody or watery, vomiting, and a mild fever. Patients usually get sick within a few days after exposure to the pathogenic bacteria.  Most people do seek medical treatment when they contract this type of infection because these symptoms can be so severe.

This infection can develop into a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). That syndrome can destroy the kidneys and cause strokes and seizures. The symptoms of HUS include lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, a skin rash, little or no urine output, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should be taken to a doctor immediately. HUS can be fatal.

Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer said in a statement, “This illness is more dangerous in young children than healthy adults. If you, a family member or a recent guest are experiencing these symptoms, contact your health care provider right away.”

Bad Bug Law Team | Pritzker Law Firm

If you or a loved one contracted an E. coli infection or developed HUS, contact the lawyers from our experienced legal team for help at 1-888-377-8900.

The law firm of Pritzker Hageman helps people sickened by contaminated food and water protect their legal rights, and get compensation and justice. Our lawyers represent patients and families of children who have been sickened with bacterial infections in personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits against retailers, food producers, food processors, restaurants, and others. Attorney Fred Pritzker recently won $7.5 million for young client whose kidneys failed because he developed hemolytic uremic syndrome after suffering an E. coli infection. Class action lawsuits are usually not appropriate for outbreak victims because the cases are unique.

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