April 15, 2024

Nine Marines Have E. coli HUS Infections

The number of Marines sickened in the E. coli HUS outbreak at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego and Edson Range at Camp Pendleton, California keeps changing. As of November 3, 2017, an update on the MCRD San Diego Facebook page states that about 69 recruits are “symptomatic of E. coli exposure with diarrheal illness.”

E. coli HUS Bacteria

Seventeen recruits are hospitalized off-base and the rest are receiving care on the base. Of the recruits hospitalized off-base, nine have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

This serious complication of an E. coli infection usually strikes young children under the age of five, but can affect people of any age. HUS is a type of kidney failure and can cause strokes, seizures, and death.

Brig. Gen. William Jurney, commanding general of MCRD and the Western Recruiting Region said in a statement, “We remain dedicated to supporting the recruits and families most affected, and preparing recruits to return to training.”

The cause of the outbreak is still under investigation. There is no word on what officials are looking at. E. coli outbreaks have been caused by contaminated food, especially produce and ground beef; person-to-person contact with an ill person, or contaminated water.

The symptoms of an E. coli infection include severe and painful abdominal cramps, diarrhea that is usually bloody or watery, and a mild fever. If this infection is improperly treated with antibiotics or if other conditions are met, complications called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) can develop.

We do know that several Marines have been diagnosed with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections. The strains of E. coli that produce that toxin are the ones that cause the most serious illness. Shiga toxins attack the red blood cells in the body. Those destroyed cells then can travel to the kidneys and brain and cause serious health complications.

Pritzker Hageman, America‚Äôs food safety law firm, successfully represents people harmed by adulterated food products in outbreaks throughout the country. Its lawyers have won hundreds of millions of dollars for survivors of foodborne illness, including the largest lawsuit verdict in American history for a person harmed by E. coli and hemolytic uremic syndrome. The firm also publishes Food Poisoning Bulletin, a respected source for food safety news and information. Pritzker Hageman lawyers are regularly interviewed by major news outlets including the New York Times, CNN, and the Wall Street Journal. In addition, the firm represents people harmed by pathogenic microorganisms in Legionnaires‘ disease, surgical site infection, and product liability cases.

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