220x165.jpgAccording to Mac McLean, an E. coli outbreak involving E. coli O157:H7, E. coli O103 and E. coli O169 and outbreak that’s plagued Northeast Tennessee since mid-May has sickened two more people – bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the eight-county Northeast Tennessee region so far this year to 15.

On June 5, a 2-year-old girl and her 5-year-old brother from Dryden, Va., were rushed to the Johnson City Medical Center’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit after they developed an E. coli infection. The girl died at the hospital that day while her brother was sent to another hospital for further treatment and later released.

Even though no common links have been found, the health officer said he is treating the situation like an outbreak because the dates these symptoms started showing up are in such a small period of time. He hopes test results from the two new cases that are due back next week will help his office solve the puzzle.