Third Child Sickened in Davidson County From Apparent E coli Infection
Two Tyro Middle School students remain hospitalized after contracting an apparent E. coli infection. Now a third student from a different school is believed to have been sickened from the bacteria. Late Monday, the Davidson County Health Department announced that doctors were able to lab confirm the third case as E. coli.
Health officials say all three illnesses were reported in the Western part of the county. Jen Hames, the public information officer for the health department, says the source of the outbreak is still a mystery.
“At this point there is no known link between the three children. We are investigating and we are talking with the parents and family members to find out where they have eaten, what they have eaten over the past month, what types of animals they have been exposed to and things like that to see if there is any link between the three children,” says Hames.
A person who is ill with E. coli infection may transmit the disease to others.
According to Hames, some people sickened by E. coli may develop severe complications, including kidney failure. Young children, the elderly and people with other medical conditions are most at risk. She says there are several symptoms people should be aware of.
“The symptoms of E. coli include vomiting, low grade fever, abdominal cramps and diarrhea, but it is the bloody diarrhea that raises the red flag. We are encouraging the community to report to us any child or adult who has had bloody diarrhea over the past month and to seek medical attention,” says Hames.
In the meantime, health experts say the best way to prevent the transmission of E. coli is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before and after handling foods, before eating and after using the toilet and changing diapers.
If you have any general questions or concerns, you may call the Davidson County Health Department at (336) 242-2300.
For more information on E.coli, visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/ecoli.html or www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html