Paul Aker of KING 5 News here in Seattle says now that we’re in for a long stretch of nice weather, there is a warning to think twice about barbecuing. Every year, dozens of cases of E. coli pop up. The contagious illness can cause diarrhea, vomiting, even death in rare cases.
From the article:
This time of year, E. coli is becoming more of a problem and it has already sprouted twice this month in Pierce County.
It was confirmed on June 3 that Stephanie Liske’s 6-year-old son Aiden has E. coli. Her 4-year-old son might also be infected, possibly having contracted it if from his brother.
“I had to go to the hospital,” said Aiden.
“It was pretty scary, because I know it could cause kidney failure,” said Stephanie.
“I’m going to find out about my 4-year-old today if he has it.”
E. coli killed several people during an outbreak 11 years ago when it was linked to the Jack-in-the-Box restaurant chain.
Liske is not sure where her boys may have picked u the bug, but suspects a pool in Fife or some fast-food restaurants in Puyallup.
“The health department called me right away, of course, because they want to know where it came from,” she said. “That’s the question of the hour.”
The Pierce County Health Department does not know how the virus got spread this time, but officials say they do know it’s nothing like the Jack-in-the-Box problem.
“E. coli becomes a little more common this time of year, so it’s not uncommon at all,” said Joby Winans, Tacoma-Pierce Co. Health Dept.
So far, there are only two confirmed cases in Pierce County this year — 6-year-old Aiden and a 17-year-old on June 4.
Officials say the close timeframe is not a reason for concern and they are certain the cases are not related.
To avoid getting E. coli, barbecue and cook your food thoroughly, wash your fresh fruits and vegetables (especially cantaloupe and sprouts), and always wash your hands.
The health department says the county has not had a fatal case of E. coli since 1997.