Local KING 5 News reported yesterday that public health experts in Pierce County are trying to track down what could have sickened three people with e-coli. Those three, including a young child, are all in local hospitals.
From the article:
“They’re checking with family members trying to find out if the 3 people ate at the same restaurant — ate food bought at the same grocery store and so forth,” said Joby Winans of the Tacoma/Pierce Co. Health Dept.
Chuck Richardson’s 15-year-old daughter Jenna is having a difficult time. He thinks she got sick from an undercooked hamburger grilled at home.
“She got halfway done and looked at it and said it was pinking and said ‘it’s not done,'” said Richardson.
Health department officials say cases like these are not unexpected in the summer, but they are determined to find the source of the e-coli.
“Certainly we want to prevent it if we can so we are trying to find out what that source is, so the people know and eliminate the problem,” said Winans.
It is possible to pick up E. coli from a number of sources, including undercooked beef, contact with farm animals or from people who are already sick.
Most people do recover, but the very young and very old are most at risk.
Information on E. coli:
Escherichia coli is an emerging cause of foodborne illness. An estimated 73,000 cases of infection and 61 deaths occur in the United States each year. Infection often leads to bloody diarrhea, and occasionally to kidney failure. Most illness has been associated with eating undercooked, contaminated ground beef and person-to-person contact. Infection can also occur after drinking raw milk and after swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water. Consumers can prevent E. coli infection by thoroughly cooking ground beef, avoiding unpasteurized milk, and washing hands carefully.