Most of the people sickened in a Jackson County E. coli Outbreak in Oregon are teens and young adults, according to the latest update from the county health department. The outbreak includes 16 people, 12 of whom have been hospitalized, some with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure. The illnesses were reported to the county in early August.
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Health officials say all of the patients, who range in age from 11 months to 65 years old, were sickened by a Shiga toxin-producing strain of E. coli (STEC). Ruminant animals such as cattle, sheep, and goats, are the primary reservoirs of STEC and aren’t sickened by them. But, for humans, Shiga toxins are poisonous so ingesting them causes severe illness.
Jackson County E. coli Outbreak Hospitalizations
The severe illness associated with STEC infections is one reason why this outbreak has an incredibly high hospitalization rate. At 75 percent, it’s two and half times the average. Another reason is that HUS most often affects young people and most of the Jackson County E. coli Outbreak patients are in their teens and 20s.
Taylor Thompson, a senior at Southern Oregon University, spent four days in the hospital. She told NewsWatch 12 that one minute she was getting ready for work and the next she was doubled over in excruciating pain. Doctors didn’t immediately diagnose the illness as an E. coli infection. “I was absolutely terrified,” she told the station. “It was very scary when you are in that much pain and you feel like your entire body is shutting down.”
Health officials have interviewed the patients trying to find a common exposure but they have not yet identified the source of the outbreak. Previous E. coli outbreaks have been linked to contaminated produce, ground beef, unpasteurized dairy products and animal exhibits, or petting zoos at state or county fairs.
E. coli Lawyers with Experience
If you or a loved one in Jackson County developed an E. coli infection and would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman E. coli Legal Team. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. There is no obligation and you don’t pay us unless we win.