Two more E. coli cases found in county
Vail, CO Colorado
EAGLE COUNTY ” Two more cases of E. coli were discovered on Wednesday and Thursday, bringing the total number of sick people to eight, local and state health officials say.
“We became aware of two new cases this week, although we believed they actually picked up the bacteria during the end of July,” said Jill Hunsaker, Eagle County public health manager.
E. coli can take two to eight days before symptoms begin. Officials still believe the outbreak has been contained, meaning the cases are not from a new source.
“The two new cases have been tracked back to the original exposure time,” said Anne Robinson, county public health coordinator.
Officials still have not found the original source of the outbreak, but one suspected source is the Eagle pool, she said. Three child care facilities were also being investigated for possible spread of E. coli after sick children continued to attend.
However, measures to prevent the spread of the bacteria have been taken at all the suspected locations, Robinson said.
E. coli is an illness spread through food and water that have been contaminated by fecal matter carrying the bacteria. Usually it is not fatal, but particularly among children under five years of age and the elderly, the infection can also cause kidney failure.
“At this point none of the cases are in a serious state,” Robinson said.
Parents should take their children to see a doctor if they have diarrhea that is bloody or lasts longer than two days, she said. Another symptom is fever.
People in need of a physician can call Eagle County Public Health at 328-8840.
Officials warn that it is extremely important that children who attend child care stay home whenever they are having diarrhea.
The best way to prevent E. coli and other infections is to regularly wash hands with soap, especially after using the restroom or changing diapers. Parents and care givers should also carry hand sanitizer with them and use it regularly.
Other preventive measures include thoroughly cooking meat and washing vegetables, which can carry the bacteria.
E. coli is not common and there have not been any reported cases in the county for the last few years, said Robinson.
Staff Writer Melanie Wong can be reached at 748-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.