Cambridge-Guernsey County Health Department is investigating three confirmed reports of E. coli affecting Guernsey County residents, according to The Daily Jeffersonian.
The outbreak includes a case that reportedly claimed the life of a Cambridge toddler, but is not confirmed.
Authorities have reportedly not identified the source of the E. coli contamination.
Most E. coli infections comes from eating undercooked ground beef. E. coli 0157:H7 is a disease-causing bacterium that produces a powerful toxin that can cause severe illness.
Eating meat that has not been cooked sufficiently to kill E. coli can cause infection. Contaminated meat looks and smells normal. Drinking unpasteurized milk and swimming in or drinking sewage-contaminated water can also cause infection.
About two to seven percent of E. coli infections result in a complication called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, in which the red blood cells are destroyed and the kidneys fail, causing death.