The Florida Department of Health has released the latest numbers in regards to confirmed cases of hemolytic uremic syndrom (HUS).
Orange County tops the list with nine. Volusia has two, while Seminole, Collier and Pasco counties each have one confirmed case of HUS, including the death of a 12-year-old girl in Pasco County. Tuesday, several more cases of E. Coli were confirmed at two local hospitals – a set of 18-month-old twins and an older sibling – both on kidney dialysis machines and one already also on a ventilator. All patients with confirmed cases of HUS had all recently visited petting zoos at area fairs.
“These are young kids. They were healthy a couple of days ago, and now they are on dialysis and one is on a ventilator. To me, as a parent, that meets an extremely critical criteria,” said Mehul Dixit, MD, pediatric nephrologist with Florida Hospital Orlando.
As of yet, there is no conclusive proof that petting zoos are what made the children sick, but doctors are quick to point out that is the one common bond that they all share. Doctors hope to confirm, soon, that all the cases are linked to petting zoos.
Doctors also warn that anyone who develops HUS will always need monitoring. Five to 15 percent of children who develop HUS don’t survive. Doctors are trying to remain optimistic that their young patients will make it.