King County Public Health has announced seven new cases of Shiga toxin-producing E.Coli, also known as STEC.
The seven children, all under the age of 14, developed symptoms consistent with STEC including bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
Out of the cases, six have been hospitalized, including one child who developed a kidney complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome and another who has been suspected to have developed the same.
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As cases had been reported between April 22 through May 1, 2021, the investigation is currently ongoing.
King County Public Health has not identified any foods, restaurants, or other sources in common amongst all cases, although they have revealed that infection with STEC occurs through consumption of undercooked ground beef and other beef products, unpasteurized (raw) milk, cheese, and juice, contaminated raw fruits, vegetables, sprouts, and herbs, water contaminated with animal feces, or by direct contact with farm animals or their environment. Ready-to-eat foods can also be contaminated with STEC through contact with raw beef or raw beef juices in the kitchen.
King County Public Health is asking parents to monitor their children as well as themselves for painful or bloody diarrhea, diarrhea that lasts more than three days, or is accompanied by a high fever or decreased urine.
Those who have any of the above symptoms should contact their healthcare provider immediately to see if testing for STEC is necessary. For more information regarding the recent E.Coli outbreak, visit King County Public Health’s website.