April 18, 2024

University of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Sickens Students

A University of Arkansas E. coli outbreak has sickened an unnamed number of students and has hospitalized some, according to the Arkansas Department of Health and news reports. The press release states, “The university is working closely with public health officials to help identify the source of the outbreak and provide guidance to help prevent additional infections. At this time, based on what we know about the onset of symptoms, we believe the outbreak started more than a week ago.”

University of Arkansas E. coli Outbreak Sickens Students

University officials and health department officials are working to identify the source of the outbreak. We don’t know which foods they are focusing on, the number of students sick, or how many have been hospitalized. We also don’t know the serotype of the bacteria that is causing this illness. It could be E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O26, or others.

We do know that the pathogen is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC), which can cause serious illness. This pathogen lives in the digestive tract of ruminant animals like cows and goats. People get sick when they eat meat from those animals that is contaminated and not cooked properly, from contact with those animals, or from drinking unpasteurized milk.

Symptoms of a STEC illness usually start a few days to a week after infection. Patients usually suffer from a mild fever, and some nausea and vomiting. But the main symptoms are severe and painful abdominal cramps, along with diarrhea that is often bloody.

In some patients, especially younger children, a complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome can develop after this infection, which is a type of kidney failure. Symptoms of HUS include decreased urination, pale skin, lethargy, and a skin rash.

While most people recover without medical treatment, some can become sick enough to require hospitalization. Anyone suffering from a fever higher than 102°F, diarrhea for more than three days that is not improving, so much vomiting that you are unable to keep liquids down, bloody diarrhea, or signs of dehydration, which include dry mouth, dizziness, and decreased urination, should see a doctor.

Attorneys at the Pritzker Hageman Food Safety Law Firm

If you have been sickened with an E. coli  poisoning infection at the University of Arkansas, please contact our experienced attorneys for help with a possible lawsuit at 1-888-377-8900 or text us at 612-261-0856. Our firm represents clients in lawsuits against grocery stores, restaurants, and food processors. .

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