Amarillo, Texas health officials said this week that they were investigating seven confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 infection, all involving children. Thursday, the Tulsa, Oklahoma Health Department announced it was investigating four cases of E. coli illness also associated with local children.
Tulsa officials said two cases have been laboratory-confirmed, with two additional cases suspected. The two confirmed cases are siblings and both have been hospitalized. All four attend Boston Avenue Church’s childcare center. “Boston Avenue Church’s childcare center has been very cooperative with the Tulsa Health Department investigative team. The source of E. coli infection can be challenging to confirm. With three of the cases tied to one location, we will continue working closely with the childcare center, however, we are in the early stages of the investigation and cannot say with certainty that this is the source.” stated Tulsa Health Department director Dr. Bruce Dart.
In Amarillo, Texas Dr. Roger Smalligan, public health authority for Potter and Randall counties, said four children, most under the age of 5, were hospitalized with the E. coli infections. On Wednesday Smalligan said six of the seven children had some contact but would not discuss what that contact was or if the bacteria was showing up in a certain part of town or at a certain location. He did say that several of the children were related to each other.