The Chattanooga – Hamilton County Health Department has reported that two children in their county have contracted E. coli.

Health officials are trying to figure out where the children, 18-month-old and four-year-old siblings, contracted the bacteria. NewsChannel9 has learned that the children are doing better and in stable condition.

The CHCHD’s CDC Program Manager, Donna Needham says, "It is fecally — orally transmitted, meaning it is shed from the rectum of a source into an object that be an animal or human. If it goes into an object that is contaminated or food that is contaminated and then it has to get to the mouth of another person. That is where the infection occurs."

Needham says the best way to prevent E. coli is to wash hands thoroughly before eating, preparing food or after using the bathroom to reduce your risk of coming in contact with E. coli bacteria.

Also, Needham recommends keeping raw meat away from raw vegetables and other ready to eat foods to prevent cross-contamination. Other recommendations include drinking only pasteurized milk, juice or cider and washing fruits and vegetables before eating.