The Tribune reports that three cases of E. coli were reported in Cascade County last week, but officials say there is no risk that the disease will spread to the general public.
The three cases are isolated to one family, and they are no longer infected, according to Cherry Loney, executive director of the City-County Health Department.
The health department investigated but could not trace the Cascade County family’s infection to a particular source. Since people can spread E. coli to one another, it is not uncommon to see three cases develop within the same family.
The E. coli bacteria, which travels through the stomach and small intestine and finally latches on to the inner wall of the large intestine, causes considerable stomach pain, cramping and severe diarrhea. The bacteria is spread through contaminated and undercooked food or from person-to-person contact.
The best defense against E. coli is constant hand washing, Loney said. Once a person contracts the disease, the best means of fighting it is rehydrating.