Five children were reportedly in a Louisville, KY, hospital on Friday being treated for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a potentially fatal kidney disease typically caused by an E. coli infection.
Officials with the Kentucky Department for Public Health were trying to figure out how the children became ill. All the children were being treated at Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville.
HUS can develop after two days to two weeks of diarrhea associated with infection by a strain of E. coli known as O157:H7. HUS can cause kidney failure, and patients are sometimes put on dialysis as a result.
E. coli bacteria is found in contaminated food or water and can be transmitted by drinking unpasteurized milk or eating undercooked meat. It can also be transmitted person-to-person if hands aren’t washed adequately after using the bathroom or changing a diaper. Symptoms include stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea.
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