According to news reports, the Rhode Island Department of Health was notified Monday of several sixth grade students from Lincoln Middle School with diarrheal illness.

The students just returned from Camp Bournedale in nearby Plymouth, Massachusetts which they attended from October 13th through 16th.  As of today (October 21), there have been 15 cases of diarrheal illness. There have been two students who tested positive for E. coli O157:H7. Two students are hospitalized. It is unclear if those two have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome.

“We want to assure parents and students that we are not seeing this diarrheal illness spread person to person,” said Chief of HEALTH’s Center for Infectious Diseases Robert S. Crausman, MD, MMS. “However, any student or chaperone who was on the field trip and has diarrhea should call their doctor for medical evaluation and treatment. HEALTH is working closely with our colleagues at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health in the investigation of this incident.”

Students or chaperones who were on the field trip who do not have diarrhea do not need to take any special precautions. Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the USDA are investigating foods at the camp as the likely source of this illness. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be assisting with this investigation.

“Our first concern is the health and safety of our students and staff,” said Lincoln School Superintendent Georgia Fortunado. “We are working collaboratively with the Department of Health on this response.”