E. coli and HUS Kidney Failure in Kentucky

Attorney Fred Pritzker and his Bad Bug Law Team are investigating an outbreak of E. coli infections and Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome in children in Kentucky. You can click here now to contact Fred and his team about finding the source of your child’s illness and holding any corporate wrongdoers accountable.

Investigation Searches for Source of Illnesses

The Kentucky Department for Public Health (DPH) is working with several local health departments to investigate a cluster of 6 children diagnosed with E. coli, including four with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney injury that results in kidney failure and the need for dialysis. Children with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome fight for their lives, and some don’t make it. This month, a 4-year-old girl in Oregon died from E. coli-associated HUS.

The ages of the children sickened range from 18 months to 6 years of age. These cases were reported to DPH early last week. Since then, it has been investigating:

  1. to determine if all of the cases are connected and
  2. to find the source of the illnesses.

DPH considers the 6 cases of E. coli a “cluster” based on the timing of the illnesses and the location of the children sickened. To determine conclusively if these children were sickened by the same source of E. coli bacteria, PFGE testing is being done on E. coli isolates found in stool samples taken from the children. This testing uses enzymes to “cut” the DNA strands in the E. coli isolates and then sort the pieces based on weight. The result is a genetic pattern, referred to as a PFGE pattern. E. coli isolates with identical PFGE patterns are from the same source. For example, if 2 children get E. coli food poisoning from tainted lettuce, the PFGE patterns of the E. coli isolates in the children’s stool samples will be the same or very, very close.

The 6 children who are part of this cluster of illnesses, and potentially associated with an outbreak, are from the following counties: Hardin (4), Oldham (1) and Boone (1). Of these, 4 are hospitalized with HUS, a surprisingly high percentage of the children sickened.

An E. coli case in Nelson County was reported last week, but DPH has determined that that case is not part of this outbreak.

The source of these illnesses is food, water or contact with animals. Our experience is that no matter the source, the cause of the outbreak is unsanitary conditions. Because of this, our clients want to sue to send a message to the corporate wrongdoers that safety always needs to come before profit.

You can click here now or call 1-888-377-8900 to contact Fred Pritzker and his team for your free consultation.



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Category: Food Poisoning
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