As of 1:00 p.m. today, DPH is investigating 15 confirmed cases of E. coli O157 infection. The number of cases could increase in the near future as DPH is actively identifying individuals who were not initially reported.
So far, investigators have been able to link 14 of these cases to Oak Leaf Farm. The patients range in age from 1-44 years old, with a median age of six. In total, five patients have been hospitalized with three still in the hospital. Two of the hospitalized patients have been diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), as first reported last week.
Yesterday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dispatched a team to Connecticut to assist in the investigation of this outbreak. Today, officials from DPH, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the Uncas Health District, and the CDC team are at the Oak Leaf Farm conducting an onsite investigation. The Farm remains voluntarily closed to the public, and the owners are cooperating with the investigation.
The outbreak was first identified on Thursday, March 24th when six of seven individuals sickened with E. coli were confirmed by DPH to have recently visited Oak Leaf Farm and come into contact with goats on the farm. Two of the seven initial patients had subsequently developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system. As of today, both of those patients continue to be hospitalized.