There are now eight confirmed cases of E. coli in northeast Tennessee. The Department of Health is investigating these cases and one out of the eight circumstances is considered to be severe. The news of these events comes shortly after the death of a two-year-old girl from Dryden, Virgina who was taken to the Pediatric Unit at the Johnson City Medical Center after displaying symptoms of the bloody diarrhea. Lab results have now confirmed that the toddler did indeed suffer from a serious strain of E. coli. The child's brother is also hospitalized and being treated for E. coli as well.
Escherichia coli, often shortened to E. coli, is a common type of bacteria that is found in the intestines of any warm-blooded animal or human. There are types of E. coli that are harmless, and then there are certain strains that can cause serious illness and even death like the one that the Virginia girl fell victim to.
Concerning the child's death, the Tricities News reported that Virginia Department of Health Public Information Officer Robert Parker stated, "The lab results confirm the presence of E. coli 0157:H7." Discussing the eight other cases of confirmed E. coli is Dr. Kirschke, who is the Northeast Regional Health Office Medical Director in Tennessee. Kirschke stated, "We have one case of the severe type in Tennessee. It may be similar to what the two kids from Virginia had."
23 deaths and over 2,300 illnesses have been reported in Germany, and all of them have been linked to E. coli. Now there are cases in Tennessee and Virginia. Let us hope that a thorough investigation is being carried out and some answers are delivered so that we can better protect our loved ones. They need to figure out where this E. coli bacteria is coming from. Is it in our foods? Or is it in our waters? How do you feel about the news of this possible Escherichia coli outbreak? People should not be frightened with this information, but a healthy concern should be heeded.
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