UPDATED MAY 11, 2021 In King County, WA, seven children under the age of 14 have been sickened in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak, according to the county health department. Six of them have been hospitalized, two of them with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections. HUS most often affects young children, in this outbreak, three of the children are under the age of five.


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All of the illnesses were reported between April 22, 2021, and May 1, 2021, meaning exposures occurred between April 17, 2021, to April 29, 2021. The King County health department has not yet determined the cause of the outbreak. But a majority of patients ate fresh, mostly organic, produce before they became ill.  Public health officials have interviewed the parents and guardians of the children to help identify any common exposures.

E. coli O157:H7 infections are commonly associated with consumption of undercooked ground beef and other beef products; unpasteurized (raw) milk, cheese, and juice; sprouts, raw fruits and vegetables. Petting zoos and other farm animal exhibits are also common sources of E. coli outbreaks.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include abdominal cramps and diarrhea that can be bloody. HUS, which can be fatal, affects between 5 percent and 10 percent of E. coli patients. Symptoms usually set in one week after initial E. coli symptoms. Anyone with HUS symptoms should seek immediate, emergency medical attention. HUS symptoms include:

  • Paleness
  • Decreased urination
  • Feeling very tired
  • Unexplained weakness
  • Unexplained bruising or bleeding
  • Fainting

If you were sickened in this outbreak and would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact the Pritzker Hageman E. coli Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. including those who battled HUS  and families who suffered the wrongful death of a loved one. 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 we don’t get paid unless we win.

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Child hospitalized with E. coli infection

UPADTE This post was updated May 11, 2021, to include information about a second case of HUS and common food exposures.