Investigators from the Colorado Department of Health reported today that the outbreak of E. coli among eight children in the Evergreen area may be linked to elk droppings.  Specimens obtained from elk droppings in the mountain region have tested positive for the same strain of E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that was identified in the children, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment said.

The children who have been sickened are between 4 and 12 years old.  Of the eight cases, six are children in Jefferson County, one in Clear Creek County and one in Park County. The children’s illness were reported sporadically throughout the summer and early fall, beginning in July and most recently in late October, the state health department said.  Most of the ill children had exposure to elk droppings while playing outdoors at parks or around their homes, Miller said.