September 29, 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...]

Update on Whatcom County, WA Milk Makers Fest E. coli Outbreak

The Whatcom County Health Department updated their investigation into the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington. Investigators are calculating case counts "based on lab-confirmed infection with E. coli O157:H7 and physician-diagnosed cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS)." The latest update, posted May 18, 2015, states that there are 22 confirmed cases. Ten people have been hospitalized. No one has died. Four people have developed HUS. Tests from other sick people are being investigated. The investigation now includes environmental samples taken from the Northwest Fairgrounds, since all of the ill people attended the Milk Makers Fest between April 21 and 23, 2015; helped with the event between … [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...]

Whatcom County E. coli Outbreak Grows; CDC Pitches In

The E. coli outbreak associated with the Milk Makers Fest at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington in April has grown to include 45 cases. There are now 23 confirmed cases and 22 probable cases. Eight people have been hospitalized as a result of their illness. There are several children who have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The case count is now increasing more slowly. Interviews are continuing to determine if there was a common food or water source or activity, such as the petting zoo at the event. Lab tests have not yet been returned to determine which serotype of E. coli O157 has sickened people. It is taking some time for results to come back. The state is asking for federal help in solving this outbreak, according to the Seattle Times. Dr. Scott Lindquist, … [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  the 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...]

More E. coli Infections Reported in Whatcom County Fest Outbreak

Children dominate a growing list of case patients in the outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to the 22nd annual Milk Makers Festival in Whatcom County, Washington. According to the county health agency's latest update, 41 people have fallen ill with classic E. coli symptoms after attending the Milk Makers event from schools all over the county. The working total of 41 case patients includes people who got sick after having close contact with a sick attendee. Seven of the 41 victims have been hospitalized, but the county has not said anything about their conditions. "Most of the cases involve children who attended the event,'' said a news release from Whatcom County Health Officer Dr. Greg Stern. "Several older children involved with the event and some adults and close contacts of cases … [Read more...]

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...]

Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak Sickens 32

The Milk Makers Fest E. coli outbreak in Lynden, Washington, is growing in size as state and county health officials confirm more illnesses among more than 1,300 children who attended the educational event hosted recently by the Whatcom County Dairy Women. The investiation so far by the Whatcom County Health Department (WCHD) has confirmed 17 cases, including four individuals who have been hospitalized, the agency said in a news release. In addition, on Thursday there were 15 probable cases in people who had clinical symptoms and exposure to the event or people who attended it. Those cases are being confirmed through laboratory analysis. Dr. Greg Stern, Whatcom County’s health officer, has been identified as the principal contact in the investigation. He is urging those who attended the … [Read more...]

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