Two cases of E. coli found in Davidson

Health department issues caution
Dec. 28, 2013 @ 04:53 PM

The Davidson County Health Department has received reports of two middle school students with E. coli 0157 infection.  According to a press release, the source in these cases is unknown.

“Our sincerest sympathies go out to the families of these two students who have experienced illness,” says Monecia Thomas, Davidson County Health Department director. “Our goal in this is to inform the public, reduce the spread of the infection to others, and identify any other cases.”

E. coli are naturally occurring bacteria that normally live in the intestines of people and animals. While most E. coli are harmless, the shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC ) type identified is very infectious and can easily cause illness. 

Symptoms may include acute diarrhea, including bloody diarrhea, vomiting, severe abdominal cramps and low-grade fever.

If your child or an adult in the family has the symptoms listed above,  contact your medical provider and share the information in this notification with them, health department officials said.

"Your medical provider may consider testing, especially for those vulnerable populations, such as the very young and the elderly," added Thomas.

"Early medical attention can help minimize the severity, so it is essential that people with E. coli infection receive early medical attention." 

A person who is ill with E. coli infection may transmit the disease to others.  The best way to prevent transmission is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling foods, before eating and after using the toilet and changing diapers.

For more information on E.coli, visit http://epi.publichealth.nc.gov/cd/diseases/ecoli.html or www.cdc.gov/ecoli/general/index.html .