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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Health officials: Girl sickened by E. coli not part of outbreak

We learned late this afternoon that Olivia is not likely part of the outbreak directly related to spinach.  However, we are still investigating how it was that she and her siblings were sickened.  E. coli O157:H7 impacts 75,000 Americans each year, sending thousands to the hospital and killing nearly 100 – one two-year-old is too many.

As the Associated Press reports, the death of a 23-month-old girl who was sickened by E. coli is not part of a multistate outbreak that has been linked to tainted spinach, a state health department spokeswoman said Friday.


The strain of bacteria found in Olivia Perkins, who lived near Cambridge in Guernsey County, as well as three others in the county, did not meet the definition created by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding the national outbreak, said spokeswoman Sara Morman.

An ongoing outbreak of E. coli linked to spinach had sickened 166 people in 25 states as of midday Friday. That’s up from 157 victims in 23 states a day earlier, according to the CDC. Of those infected in the outbreak, 88 have been hospitalized, including a Wisconsin woman who died. Nineteen Ohio cases of E. coli have been linked to the outbreak, health officials said.

Perkins became ill on Aug. 7 and died Aug. 22 at Columbus Children’s Hospital, where doctors confirmed the E. coli infection, said her mother, Rebecca Perkins.

Rebecca Perkins said another daughter and two of her nephews also became ill with E. coli infections that were confirmed at the hospital. They have recovered.

Health officials said no other E. coli cases were reported in the county.

Perkins said her daughter died of brain swelling, kidney failure and severe acute pancreatitis. She said doctors told her the latter two were brought on by the E. coli infection.