September 24, 2021

E. coli Jackson County Outbreak Sickens 16, Hospitalizes 12

The E. coli Jackson County outbreak has now sickened 16 people, according to a new notice from Jackson County Public Health. That is an increase of one more patient since the last update on August 25, 2021. This Shiga toxin-producing E. coli outbreak has hospitalized 12 of those patients, for a hospitalization rate of 75%, which is extremely high for this type of outbreak. Most of the patients are in their teens and twenties. These numbers have been reported to the county since August 8, 2021.

E. coli Jackson County Outbreak Sickens 16, Hospitalizes 12

Jackson County Public Health is working with the Oregon Health Authority on this investigation. Dr. Jim Shames, Health Officer for Jackson County Public Health said in a statement, “Right now, we do not have a definitive hypothesis on what the source of infection may be. The genome sequencing, performed at the state public health lab, has not matched any other cases in the state or nationally. Therefore, we continue to do in-depth interviews with those that have tested positive to help us identify a possible source of exposure.”

Officials are asking medical providers to be alert for people who present with the symptoms of an E. coli infection. Typical symptoms include a mild fever, vomiting, severe and painful abdominal and stomach cramps, and diarrhea that is usually bloody. Doctors should collect stool specimens for these patients. Antibiotics should not be prescribed to E. coli patients, since they increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. E. coli infections are reportable infections.

The update did not state if any of the patients have developed HUS, which is more common in children under the age of five. Symptoms of HUS include little or no urine output, lethargy, easy bruising, and pale skin. These symptoms constitute a medical emergency and anyone experiencing them should see a doctor immediately.

If you have diarrhea that lasts for more than three days, or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever over 102°F, bloody diarrhea, or are unable to keep down liquids, see your doctor. You may be part of this E. coli Jackson County outbreak.

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If you or a loved one have been sickened with an E. coli infection or HUS, please contact our experienced attorneys for help at 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

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