December 4, 2016

More HUS, E. coli Cases Confirmed from Milk Makers Fest

Four cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and 10 hospitalizations have now been confirmed in an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that has sickened 25 people, mostly first grade students from public schools around Bellingham, Washington, and surrounding Whatcom County. Health officials have linked the illnesses to the Milk Makers Fest, held a month ago at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington. A petting zoo and animal exhibits were part of the three-day attraction. Festival organizers have been providing updates on the public E. coli investigation and their latest announcement states that new information will be provided "in the near future.'' County, state and federal health investigators have been trying to determine the cause of the outbreak for weeks. Festival … [Read more...]

E. coli HUS Strikes Three Children in Whatcom County, WA

HUS E. coli has infected three children in the Whatcom County, Washington, outbreak linked to a school-sponsored outing to the Milk Makers Festival in Lynden. A new report from the Washington State Department of Health said 15 E. coli cases have been confirmed, more than half of those patients were hospitalized and three have suffered the worst complication possible: HUS kidney failure, also known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. The disease can be fatal in a significant percentage of child cases, but no deaths have been reported in the Milk Makers outbreak. This week's Whatcom County E. coli update is the best accounting yet of how serious the outbreak became after the first school children began to fall ill in late April. More than 1,000 first graders from Bellingham and surrounding area … [Read more...]

Milk Makers Fest E. coli Patient Still Hospitalized

Organizers of the Milk Makers Fest in Lynden, Washington, said one of the 45 case patients in an E. coli outbreak associated with the annual schools event remained hospitalized this week at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham. All together there have been eight hospitalizations among a case patient population dominated by first-graders from public schools throughout Whatcom County, including schools in Bellingham, Lynden, Ferndale, Meridian, Blaine, Nooksack Valley and Mount Baker. E. coli lawyers, medical experts, infectious disease investigators and a growing number of parents suspect the cause of ┬áthe outbreak could be related to animal feces at the event's petting zoo or around other live animals on exhibit at the Milk Makers Fest. Still, officials from the Centers for Disease Control … [Read more...]

Whatcom County WA Updates Milk Makers Fest E. coli Outbreak

Whatcom County Health Department has updated their investigation into the outbreak of shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157 associated with the Milk Makers Fest held at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden on 4/21/15 - 4/23/15. More than a thousand primary school children attended the event from all school districts in the county. Most of the cases are children. The cumulative total as of 5/5/15 is 22 cases, with 7 hospitalized; and 20 probable cases, which is an increase of one probable case from Monday. The 22 cases include those with positive lab results, and clinical cases with close contact with a confirmed case. Public health officials are interviewing cases to discover if there was a common food or water source or activity in this outbreak. The children did pet farm animals, and … [Read more...]

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