Number of E. coli Cases in Oklahoma Approaches 300

By Anna Boyd
15:15, September 15th 2008


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The number of people ill in connection with an E. coli outbreak associated with a Locust Grove restaurant in northern Oklahoma has risen to 291, health officials reported.

Of those, 227 were adults and 46 were children. At least 67 people were hospitalized during the outbreak, the largest of its type in the nation and one man died. Sixteen people needed kidney dialyses, a repercussion of the infection. Nine of them were children.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have interviewed more than 1,700 people. As the investigation continues, officials expect an increase in hospitalization and dialysis figures. The investigation now focuses on a Broken Arrow church event that was catered by Country Cottage on August 16 that sickened at least 30 of the 250 people who attended, officials said.

The event took place at Bethany Free Will Baptist Church. The health officials want to extend their investigation on more families with young children who ate at the restaurant and did not become ill.

E. coli is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomiting and in most severe cases kidney failure. Most of the infected persons get well in 15 days. People predisposed to the infection include children, seniors, and persons whose immune system is weakened. Antibiotics typically are not helpful, and infections are often treated by drinking fluids and taking pain relievers.




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