July 7, 2020

E. coli HUS Outbreak at Whatcom County, WA Updated

The E. coli O157 outbreak associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden, Whatcom County, Washington has now sickened 36 people, according to the Health Department. The latest update is 18 positive cases, and 18 probable cases. Five people have been hospitalized; at least some of those have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a serious complication of an E. coli infection. That is a change of one more new confirmed case, three new probable cases, and one new hospitalization. The positive cases have either those with positive lab tests, or close contact with a positive or presumptive positive case. The probable cases are people with clinical symptoms who were associated with the event, but lab results were either not available or not conducted. The Health … [Read more...]

Beef is Source of Most E. coli Outbreaks

Beef is the source of most E. coli outbreaks, according to a new federal study by the Food Safety Analytics Collaboration of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The study was conducted to provide information that can be used to develop better food poisoning prevention measures. Of the 952 outbreaks attributed to one pathogen during the 14-year study period, 170 were caused by E.coli. Of those, 97 were caused by beef, 29 were caused by row vegetables, 18 were caused by dairy, 11 by fruit, 6 by sprouts, 4 by game, 2 by meat other than beef, pork, turkey chicken or game and 1 each by chicken, turkey and other produce. Symptoms of an E.coli infection which include abdominal cramping … [Read more...]

Raw Milk Warning Comes After E.coli HUS Sickens 4 Kids in KY

A raw milk warning has been issued in Kentucky after five children got E.coli poisoning and four of them were hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, (HUS) a form of kidney failure that can be fatal. The Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services issued the warning today after weeks of investigating the outbreak. “At this time, we know that all of the children consumed unpasteurized milk, which is different from the milk and dairy products you purchase at the grocery store,” said DPH Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield, M.D. “Unpasteurized milk is dangerous and has not undergone a process to kill bacteria before it is consumed, meaning it could contain disease-causing agents such as E. coli. The health of anyone who drinks unpasteurized milk can be affected if they are exposed to … [Read more...]

What is Source of Oregon HUS Cases?

Health officials in Oregon have not determined the source of E.coli poisoning that this month gave three children hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and killed one of them. In 2012, raw milk was the source of an E.coli outbreak gave three children HUS, one of whom required a kidney transplant. Twelve other children and four adults were also sickened in that outbreak which was linked to raw milk produced by Foundation Farm located in Clackamas County. Lab tests showed that the E. coli O157 isolates from eight of the patients matched isolates from samples taken from the farm and from some raw milk. The 15 children who were sickened ranged in age from 18 months to 19 years old. The 18 month old was one of the four patients who were hospitalized. Raw milk laws are different in each state. … [Read more...]

Keep Children Safe at Petting Zoos to Avoid HUS E. coli

HUS E. coli is a life-threatening disease that children can contract from exposure to pathogenc E. coli at petting zoos or other animal exhibits commonly visited in summer and fall by families on outings to apple orchards, pumpkin patches, festivals and fairs. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians sets a compendium of safety measures for animal venue operators to follow, but the health of children who touch animals, feed animals or even touch railings or enclosures comes down to handwashing and vigilance supported by the operators. In Minnesota, where state officials have investigated two sizable outbreaks of toxic E. coli infections at petting zoons in the past two years, the state Department of Health has published a Prevention Fact Sheet. It emphasizes two … [Read more...]

Is Watermelon Suspect in OR, KY Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Cases?

Is watermelon on the list of suspected food sources health officials are considering in E. coli outbreaks that have sickened children in Oregon and Kentucky?  To solve outbreaks, investigators look for common exposures. Watermelon is one thing  children in both states ate before they became ill, Food Poisoning Bulletin has learned. Health officials in both states say they do not yet know the source of the outbreaks and have not stated whether the cases are linked. But one common exposure is watermelon. The three Oregon children recently diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) from E. coli infections all spent time near the same river and ate watermelon they bought from a Walmart store before they became ill, according to one of the mothers. All three of those children were … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Sickens Children in Oregon, Kentucky and Minnesota

E. coli HUS clusters targeting children have popped up in Oregon, Kentucky and Minnesota over the last month.  A  traveling petting zoo was found to be the source of an August E.coli outbreak in Minnesota that hospitalized three children and sickened 10 other people. Two of those hospitalized had HUS, or hemolytic uremic syndrome, a life-threatening complication of E. coli infections that causes kidney failure, seizure, stoke and coma. Earlier this month,  three children in Oregon and one in Washington were hospitalized with HUS. Health officials believe two of the cases are linked but have not pinpointed the source. The families of Brad Sutton, 5, and Serena Profitt, 4, spent time together before the children got sick. Brad remains hospitalized and has been receiving dialysis … [Read more...]

Diaper Full of Blood, E.coli HUS Strikes 3rd Child in Oregon

Aubrie Utter, 3, is the third Oregon child to be diagnosed wit E.coli HUS kidney failure since the end of August, KATU-TV reports. Aubrie's  parents think the cases may be related, all three children spent time near the South Santiam River and all three ate watermelon they bought from a Walmart in Lebanon before they got sick. Aubrie celebrated her birthday at Waterloo Park on August 23.  They used a park tap to wash hands and another to fill water balloons. Later that night, Aubrie woke up with a stomachache and diarrhea. They brought her to a clinic, and just like Serena Profitt's family, they were told it was a virus and sent home. Aubrie got worse. Katie Hendricks said when she opened her daughter's diaper and found it full of blood, they brought Aubrie back to the clinic and … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Strikes 5 Children in Kentucky

Five Kentucky children have been hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a life-threatening condition that develops in some young children with E. coli infections, according to the Courier-Journal. The children, who are from three counties, are all being treated at Kosair Children's Hospital. The state health department is investigating the cluster of illnesses, but has not yet determined the source. Kidney failure, seizure and stroke are all possible complications of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a condition that develops in about 15 percent of pediatric E. coli infections. Children under 10 are at most at risk for HUS because their immune systems have not fully developed. Blood transfusion or dialysis is sometimes used to treat patients with HUS including Brad Sutton, … [Read more...]

E. coli Takes Life of Washington Girl, 3

A 3-year-old Washington girl has died from an E. coli infection.  Brooklyn Hoksbergen was admitted to Children's Hospital Wednesday and passed away on Friday. Her family does not know how she contracted the infection.  Health authorities are investigating. At this point, they do not think Brooklyn's death is related to two other E. coli cases on the Oregon coast. Brad Sutton, 5, and his friend Serena Profitt, 4, spent Labor Day weekend together and became ill a few days later.  Brad is on dialysis at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital. Serena died Monday at  Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. E.coli is transmitted when contaminated food or water is ingested, or through contact with farm animals. Children under 10 are at special risk for E.coli infections because their immune systems … [Read more...]

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