U.S. Department of Agriculture
The E. coli bacterium magnified 10,000 times.
E. coli outbreak puzzles health officials
Livingston County Director of Public Health Joan Ellison has issued an alert to the public which advises that seven persons in Livingston County have suffered intestinal infection from E. coli bacteria.
Unfortunately, the precise origin of the infections is yet to be pinned down.
“We’re looking into it. We’re trying to figure it out,” Ellison said. “We are in the middle of our investigation.”
E. coli can infect an individual by ingestion of contaminated drinking water, including contaminated water used to wash fruits and vegetables.
“We’ve taken water samples where we think there may be a connection [between an E. Coli infection case and the water supply],” Ellison noted. “The samples so far have been negative.”
While the cases are clustered to the extent of suggesting a common source for the infection, such a common origin is only suggested, not necessarily certain, Ellison reports. The seven persons do not all draw their water from the same public system, Ellison added.
“We’re trying to put all those pieces together,” she said. “We really don’t know the source yet. We are interviewing the people who are sick.”
The initial onset of symptoms was reported in a case Aug. 6. The most recent has been Aug. 13.
The symptoms for E. coli infection include severe and persistent diarrhea, sometimes with blood or mucus. Anyone suspecting they have the infection should contact their physician.