Huntley High School E. coli Outbreak [Update]

Updated December 26 with final report An E. coli outbreak at Huntley High School in Huntley, IL that included 16 students was likely caused by poor handwashing of an infected worker, according to the McHenry County Department of Health final report. This employee never experienced symptoms but likely ate the contaminated food linked to the multistate outbreak, which was never identified, the report states.

It also states that 15 of the 16 patients ate sandwiches with lettuce on them from the cafeteria station where that employee worked. Leafy greens and ground beef are the most common food sources of E. coli outbreaks, but any food can become contaminated with the bacteria.

Do You Need an E. coli Lawyer?

What is Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC)?

Some strains of E. coli, such as E. coli O157:H7, produce Shiga toxins that are poisonous to humans. STEC infections cause severe illness that often requires hospitalization. Some patients with STEC infections develop potentially fatal complications called hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP), which both cause kidney failure. Teenagers and young children are at elevated risk of developing HUS.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. Usually, these symptoms develop within one to three days of exposure.  Over-the-counter anti-diarrheal medications and antibiotics should not be given to patients with E. coli infections as they can increase the chance of developing HUS. 

Symptoms of HUS usually develop one week after initial E. coli symptoms. HUS can be fatal. Anyone with HUS symptoms should seek immediate emergency care. HUS symptoms include:

  • Pale skin
  • Decreased urination
  • Unexplained bruising
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in legs, feet, or ankles
E. coli HUS

Huntley High School E. coli Outbreak

Located at 13719 Harmony Road, Huntley High School serves about 3,000 students in grades 9-12. The first case in this outbreak was identified on September 17. County health officials said all illnesses confirmed so far are among Huntley students and the outbreak does not include cases elsewhere in McHenry County.

Experienced E. coli Lawyers

Pritzker Hageman E. coli lawyers have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. If you 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.

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Category: E. coli, Food Poisoning
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