September 24, 2021

Jackson County E. coli Outbreak Sickens 15 in Oregon; 10 Hospitalized

A Jackson County E. coli outbreak has sickened at least 15 people, according to a Flash Report from the Jackson County Health Department in Oregon and news outlets. The Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) cases have been occurring since August 1, 2021. Ten people are hospitalized, including several children.

Jackson County E. coli Outbreak Sickens 15 in Oregon; 10 Hospitalized

There is no indication yet what has caused these illnesses. E. coli outbreaks in the past have been linked to romaine lettuce, cake mix, flour, raw sprouts, restaurants, yogurt, raw milk, and ground beef.

Officials are asking healthcare providers in the area to be aware of the increases in this type of illness. They are also asking doctors to refrain from treating any patients who present with gastrointestinal illnesses with antibiotics. When given to STEC patients, antibiotics can increase the risk of developing hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure. Early treatment of pediatric STEC cases with IV fluids can prevent the development of HUS.

Symptoms of an E coli infection usually include severe and painful stomach and abdominal cramps, along with bloody diarrhea. Some patients may have a mild fever, usually less than 101°F. Most people recover within a week, but if the patient develops HUS, they can become seriously ill and need hospitalization. Symptoms of HUS include little urine output, anemia because of broken blood cells, lethargy, and pale skin.

Anyone who has a STEC infection cannot attend school or child care, can’t take care of patients, and must not handle food for the public. E. coli infections are reportable conditions. A case is defined by the attending physician. Any diagnosed case must be reported to local public health authorities within one working day.

If you or someone you know has been experiencing these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this Jackson County E. coli outbreak.

Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Lawyers

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

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