A fifth victim has been linked to an E. coli outbreak at a southern Minnesota dairy farm.  Four cases were reported last week, and all of those involved have been discharged from the hospital. The fifth case is a young child who was not hospitalized.  The other people sickened by E. coli in dairy products from the farm ranged in age from toddlers to a 70-year-old adult.  Three of the five victims of the E. coli outbreak were hospitalized. All have since been released.

The investigators say test results prove the E. coli came from the Michael Hartmann dairy near Gibbon. The farm sells raw, unpasteurized milk and cheese.  The state Agriculture Department’s Nicole Neeser says the E. coli found at the farm and in the victims has the same DNA fingerprint.

"Samples collected from multiple animals and from multiple environmental sites on the Hartmann farm are indistinguishable from samples collected from the humans that were ill," said Neeser. "It’s very important to note that this is a rare strain of E. coli, and it hasn’t been seen in Minnesota before."