Amarillo Health Officials investigate E. Coli outbreak

The Amarillo Department of Health confirmed late Wednesday afternoon they are investigating seven confirmed cases of E. coli 0157:H7.

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:

Abdominal Pain


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"