An outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 linked to raw milk has sickened 13 Missouri residents and led to the hospitalization of two children.
The Missouri Department of Health confirmed that the number of outbreak victims has expanded from the 5 victims previously reported, with cases now in Boone, Camden, Clark, Cooper, Howard, Jackson and Randolph counties. One of the two children hospitalized with HUS – a severe complication of an E. coli infection that leads to kidney failure – remains in the hospital, according to St. Louis Today.
While 6 of those sickened report purchasing raw milk from the same dairy farm, state health officials say they don’t have enough evidence to definitively name the source of contamination.
Seven of the 13 cases have matching pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns. Five of those with matching PFGE patterns reported drinking raw milk from the same farm. One of those is a 2-year-old child with HUS.
However, a 17-month-old child with HUS has a different PFGE pattern.
Cases linked to the outbreak were first reported in late March.
Symptoms of E. coli infection begin anywhere from 1 to 10 days after infection and include diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and in rare cases fever. If you think you may have contracted an E. coli infection, contact your healthcare provider.