Outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 on Utah-Arizona Border Continues to Confound Authorities: CDC Dispatches Investigators

E. coli contamination in food products can cause gastrointestinal symptoms that include diarrhea, fever, nausea, and stomach cramping. Some symptoms can become more severe, even causing death.
The count of people who have become ill is now at 121, with 52 hospitalizations and 4 people who have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome. The number of states impacted by the e. coli outbreak has risen to 25 and now include Kentucky, Massachusetts, and Utah.

At least four children have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, or HUS, a potentially deadly effect of consumption of a Shiga Toxin-Producing E. coli bacteria (STEC).  In this case, tragically, two of the young children have died.

The outbreak of  E. coli O157:H7 near Hildale, Utah on the border with Colorado, Arizona, continues to confound authorities.  The Southwest Utah Public Health Department, which broke the outbreak, has now joined forces with the Mohave County Department of Health, the state health departments of both Utah and Arizona, and the federal government.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has now dispatched experts to this remote area to help local health investigators determine a cause and find a way to end the ongoing outbreak.  The intensity of the investigation is prompted, in part, by the fact that two children have already died and many of the other confirmed cases (there are now 11) have been hospitalized.

The remote location is on the Utah and Arizona border where Hildale, Utah and Colorado City, Arizona share histories.  Both are allegedly the home of polygamist communities and are considered remote both because of the unique anti-establishment culture (anti-government sentiment)  and the many hours they are from larger population centers due to both distance and topography (including the Grand Canyon).  These factors have hampered investigation efforts.

So far, testing of the local water supply has been encouraging.  No e. coli was found in the drinking water.  Other possibilities include poor trash disposal, with some open trash dump-cites containing diapers and other waste that are also frequented by dogs and other animals that may play a role in the spread of the bacteria.  No single food or product is suspected at this time.

For more information about an outbreak of  E. coli O157:H7 or to speak to an e. coli lawyer, call 1-888-335-4901.



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