According to the Multnomah County Health Department, at least four individuals, including three kids and one adult have been sickened in an outbreak of E. coli linked to a Montessori school. The three children are preschoolers, and other tests are still pending, which means the number of victims may still rise. The outbreak coincides with a national outbreak of E. coli in which 16 individuals have been identified in 9 states. There is no word yet as to whether these two outbreaks are connected, but the executive director and owner of the Montessori school, Tammy Kennedy of Alameda, said that at least one family of a sick child had the product at home, while confirming that the product was not being served in the school.
The school outbreak started March 2, but parents were not notified for one week until the following Thursday in a letter warning parents to keep children at home if they were experiencing any of the typical symptoms of gastrointestinal illnesses, such as vomiting or diarrhea.
In Clackamas county, where at least two of the SoyNut national outbreak victims have been identified, the two victims (siblings) have not required hospitalization. nationwide, eight others have had to be hospitalized and two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome.
These two E. coli outbreaks follow on the heels of a massive investigation following two deaths by Listeria. The Listeria outbreak has not been linked to Vulto Creamery, a maker of soft rind cheese that is handcrafted and sold on Portland as well as California, and the eastern U.S. There is no indication yet as to whether any of the victims in the Vulto Creamery Listeria outbreak were from Portland.
For more information about the Montessori E. coli outbreak, call 1-888-335-4901.