Health Officials Warn of E. Coli Outbreak in Butte County


Karli Bulnes



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Butte County has seen a sudden increase in cases of E. Coli O157:H7, a potentially deadly food born bacteria infection.

Three cases are confirmed and a fourth is likely.

But aside from symptoms, those who have gotten sick so far have something else in common.

"They're all Forest Ranch residents and we believe they got the infection from a fundraiser that occurred on the 6th of September for the volunteer fire department," said Butte County Public Health Officer Dr. Mark Lundberg.

Between 300 and 400 people attended the fundraiser and were possibly exposed to the bacteria.

Health officials want to get the word out to all county residents, but especially those who work with patients, food and children since they have a higher risk of passing it on.

Those who are experiencing symptoms and work in those areas should stop work immediately and contact the health department.

"What we don't want to have happen is to have more cases and for this outbreak to get larger," Lundberg said.

Symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea and mild fever. Kidney failure is possible in severe cases.

If you attended the fundraiser and have these symptoms you should seek care.

This type of E. Coli is commonly linked to undercooked contaminated meat, but health officials are still trying to pinpoint the source of this outbreak.

"Right now, the investigation we're doing is to try to determine what they ate at the event and what was the culprit, what was the cause, what was the source," Lundberg said. 

Of the three confirmed cases in Butte County, one person remains hospitalized.

If you have questions contact the Butte County Public Health Department.



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