October 28, 2016

Whatcom County E. coli O157:H7 Outbreak Final Summary

The Whatcom County Health Department in Bellingham, Washington has issued their final report into the E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that sickened at least 25 children. The outbreak appears to be over. All of the ill people either attended the Milk Makers Fest between April 21 and 23, 2015 at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden, Washington; helped with the event between April 20 and April 24, or were in close contact with people associated with the event. Environmental contamination with E. coli O157:H7 at the Dairy Barn at the fairgrounds was the likely source of this outbreak. Case counts were calculated based only on lab-confirmed infections with E. coli O157:H7 or physician-diagnosed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a complication of an E. coli infection. Twenty-five peoeple … [Read more...]

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...]

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...]

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