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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

Washington State Day Care linked to E. coli O157:H7 Death and Illnesses

I just landed a few hours ago from being in "the other Washington."  It was hard to see news of yet another E. coli O157:H7 outbreak that has taken the life of a child. 

According to press reports, a Clark County day care was closed after an outbreak of E. coli infections that led to the death of one child and hospitalized three others.  Clark County health officer Dr. Alan Melnick said the first child got sick on March 19 and three other cases followed. The Fletch day care center was closed pending the follow up testing of all 22 attendees and four staff members.

The child who died was not identified by health officials. Melnick said the source was thought to be a person-to-person transmission.  The children who were possibly exposed were also not being allowed to attend any other day care centers, Melnick said.  Those being supervised by health officials were being declared free of infection after two separate negative tests in 24 hours. Exposure to the bacteria can show symptoms between one and 10 days.

Of course day care bacterial outbreaks have happened in the past.  Person to person transmission has happened.  Hopefully, the Clark County and Washington State Departments of Health can figure out how the E. coli got into the day care in the first place.