Public-health officials are investigating an E. coli outbreak that struck several people who attended a Yamhill County Christian camp gathering last week.
The bacteria apparently struck teenage and adult campgoers at Camp Yamhill. The camp is about eight miles west of Yamhill. The outbreak appeared to affect people taking part in the camp’s Christian Outdoor School program.
At least 10 cases of people infected with E. coli O157 had been confirmed, including six students and an adult chaperone from Eugene Christian School who attended the camp. 120 people are potentially exposed to the bacteria.
People become infected by ingesting the bacteria carried in the feces of humans and animals. Exposure to it can come from eating undercooked hamburger or other meats, raw milk, unpasteurized juice, alfalfa sprouts and contaminated produce such as lettuce. It also can be spread easily from person to person.
To avoid illness, health officials advise thoroughly washing and rising your hands with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds after using the bathroom and before cooking or putting anything in your mouth.
Staff members voluntarily closed the grounds Friday while authorities investigated the cause of the outbreak. The camp is expected to reopen Sunday.