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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Virginia Boy Scouts Sickened by E. coli O157:H7

Virginia Department of Health officials are continuing to investigate an E. coli outbreak at a popular Boy Scouts camp in the Blue Ridge Mountains that has affected 17 people so far.

The officials began receiving reports of sick children Sunday, when boys from about 70 troops and some adults returned home after a week at the Goshen Scout Reservation near Lexington, VA. Most of the scouts are from northern Virginia, and one of the confirmed cases involves a Maryland adult.

As many as 60 people who attended the camp also have exhibited symptoms. Nearly 1,500 scouts and adult leaders and 200 staff were at the camp from July 20-26, the National Capital Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America said in a statement.

Christopher Novak, a health department epidemiologist told the Washington Post that six of those sickened were treated and released. Of the remaining four, two had hemolytic uremic syndrome, which occurs when the toxin produced by the bacterium enters the bloodstream.

At this point there does not seem to be a link between sick boy scouts and Nebraska Beef Ltd.  TIme will tell.  According to the CDC, as of July 29, 2008, 54 confirmed cases have been linked both epidemiologically and by molecular fingerprinting to the Nebraska Beef outbreak. The number of cases in each state is as follows: Georgia (4), Indiana (3), Kentucky (1), Michigan (22), New York (1), Ohio (21), Utah (1) and West Virginia (1). Their illnesses began between May 27 and July 1, 2008. 28 persons have been hospitalized. One patient developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS). No deaths have been reported. USDA has not informed us of any additional recall actions related to this outbreak investigation since the expanded recalls on July 3.