The Boone County Department of Public Health has confirmed four cases of E. coli – as well as two other probable cases in Boone County preschool and school-aged children.
The department of health would not identify where or what part of the county those cases were located.
Public Health officials said they are reviewing lab analyses and conducting case interviews to determine the possible causes of the outbreak. Currently, the source of the infection has not yet been determined.
According to the health department’s press release, most strains of E. coli bacteria are harmless and several are known to produce toxins that can cause mild diarrhea with most confirmed cases developing several diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Blood is often seen in the stool. Usually little or no fever is present. If you think you or your family members are sick from E. coli infection, you should contact your health provider.
Health department officials also wanted to remind everyone to wash all produce thoroughly with water before eating, cook meat thoroughly, and wash their hands after using the restroom, helping to clean others, or changing diapers to prevent disease and further spread.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. These alcohol-based products can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in some situations, but they are not a substitute for washing with soap and water.”