June 17, 2021

Three Iowa Children Hospitalized with HUS After E. coli Infections

Three Iowa children hospitalized with HUS after they contracted E. coli infections have been identified by several different newspapers in that state. The Jackson County Health Department does not know what the source of these illnesses is, and we do not know if the children are all sickened by the same strain of E. coli. TV6 is reporting that viewers are telling the station that there may be more cases throughout Jackson County. It’s also worth nothing that there was a boil water notice in the city of Maquoketa, where all three of these children live, in late May.

Three Iowa Children Hospitalized with HUS After E. coli Infections

The Sentinel Press reports that 12-year-old Shane Howell’s ┬ámother noticed that was not acting like himself, so she immediately got him to the doctor. He, along with two other children, is hospitalized at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital in Iowa City with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a type of kidney failure. Shane was undergoing dialysis as of June 5, 2021.

Two-year-old Calvin “Cal” Notz is also hospitalized. His mother noticed he wouldn’t eat on May 21, 2021, and then had bloody stools on May 23. He was quickly hospitalized, then transferred to the children’s hospital in Iowa City. The little boy had seizures and a stroke and was placed in a medically induced coma. Happily, he is improving.

Little Brielle Ward, 18 months, has spent the last several weeks at that hospital, according to KWQC. When her mother picked her up from daycare, one of the staff members said that the child wasn’t eating and had diarrhea. The local ER diagnosed her with a virus, but her parents persisted and took her to another hospital when she spent the day sleeping. She was transferred to the Children’s Hospital and has been on dialysis. Her doctors and parents hope she can go home sometime this week.

These stories highlight how parent’s intuition is so important when it comes to diagnosing these types of infections. An E. coli infection does have striking symptoms, mainly bloody diarrhea, but it can also cause lethargy and a mild fever. And HUS symptoms include listlessness, pale skin, and little urine output.

Food Poisoning Bulletin contacted the Jackson County Health Department about this issue and was referred to the hospital. A press release was issued that does not mention E. coli or HUS, but states that “Jackson County Public Health has been hearing of community members┬áreporting gastrointestinal illness and want to share some illness prevention┬árecommendations with you.”

The press release advises people to stay home from work or school if they are sick and to wash their hands well after caring for someone who is ill. While E. coli can be spread person-to-person, outbreaks, defined as two or more unrelated people sickened with the same bacterial strain, are typically caused by eating food or drinking water that is contaminated with the pathogen.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with E. coli or HUS, you can contact attorney Fred Pritzker for help by calling 1-888-377-8900 or 612-338-0202.

Noted food safety attorney Fred Pritzker said, “It’s simply tragic that these Iowa children hospitalized with HUS and their families have to suffer like this. We hope that public health officials can solve this outbreak before any more illnesses occur.”

Previous E. coli outbreaks have been linked to raw milk, unpasteurized juice, raw and undercooked ground beef, flour, raw sprouts, soy nut butter that was served at schools and daycares, and romaine lettuce.

If a person has an E. coli infection, it is critically important that they not be given antibiotics, which can increase the risk of developing HUS. Treatment consists observation and supportive care, ensuring that the patient does not become dehydrated. No one, especially children, should be treated with antibiotics when they present with diarrhea and lethargy until a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) infection has been ruled out through tests.

If your child has been lethargic or listless, especially with bloody diarrhea and stomach cramps and pains, take them to the doctor as soon as possible.

The Food Poisoning Attorneys At Pritzker Hageman 1-888-377-8900

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

By submitting a comment, you are contacting Pritzker Hageman, P.A. An attorney may contact you to ask if you would like a free consultation regarding your foodborne illness.

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