Amarillo Health Officials investigate E. Coli outbreak
Wed, 01 Jun 2011 22:05:40 GMT —
A spokesperson for the department said that all current reported cases are with children and that no specific food has been linked to the outbreak. Pronews 7 has confirmed that four of the seven kids were hospitalized. While the investigation into the outbreak is ongoing, health officials said possible sources could include international travel, exposure to infected animals and human-to-human contact with infected individuals. Area physicians have been told about the outbreak and are working with the public health department to quickly identify any additional cases and potential risk factors.
Health officials want to stress this is a treatable condition.
The health department is urging anyone with symptoms to see their doctor, symptoms include:
Diarrhea (often bloody)
Abdominal Cramps, 2-8 days (3-4 days on average)
Health officials also stated a type of kidney failure called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) can occur as the diarrhea is improving, while the condition can occur in anyone, it's most common in children under 5 years-old. Symptoms of HUS include:
Pale Skin Tone
Small, unexplained bruises
Bleeding from the mouth or nose
Health officials offer these prevention tips:
Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers or before preparing food
Cook meat thoroughly
Prevent cross-contamination while cooking food
Avoid raw milk and unpasteurized diary products and juices
Avoid swallowing water while in playing in ponds, lakes, streams, swimming pools and backyard "kiddie pools"