The Arkansas Department of Health continues to investigate an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) (presumably E. coli O157:H7)  infections in Northwest Arkansas. Symptoms have been reported by approximately 100 students who attend the University of Arkansas including several hospitalizations at Mercy Rogers Hospital and Children’s in Little Rock.

We have been contacted by families whose children (University students) have suffered hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of acute kidney failure associated with E. coli O157:H7.

The Department has gathered and is now analyzing survey data from more than 3,200 individuals as it works to pinpoint the source. 

Based on what is known about the onset of E. coli-related symptoms, the outbreak appears to have started more than 10 days ago. Symptoms usually start 3 to 4 days after ingesting the bacteria. 

Because the bacteria is also transmissible, it is important to practice proper hygiene, especially good handwashing, always, on and off campus. The university has increased its surface cleaning and sanitizing protocols to help mitigate the spread. In addition, practice other general E. coli prevention practices including cooking meats thoroughly; washing fruits and vegetables well under water; avoiding cross contamination; avoiding raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products, and unpasteurized juices; and following the four steps to food safety when preparing food: clean, separate, cook, chill.  

Seek medical attention right away if you have any severe E. coli symptoms, including: 

  • Diarrhea and fever higher than 102°F 
  • Diarrhea for more than 3 days that is not improving 
  • Bloody diarrhea 
  • So much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down 
  • Signs of dehydration, such as decreased urination, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up 

E. coli:  Marler Clark, The Food Safety Law Firm, is the nation’s leading law firm representing victims of E. coli outbreaks and hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). The E. coli lawyers of Marler Clark have represented thousands of victims of E. coli and other foodborne illness infections and have recovered over $850 million for clients. Marler Clark is the only law firm in the nation with a practice focused exclusively on foodborne illness litigation.  Our E. coli lawyers have litigated E. coli and HUS cases stemming from outbreaks traced to ground beef, raw milk, lettuce, spinach, sprouts, and other food products.  The law firm has brought E. coli lawsuits against such companies as Jack in the Box, Dole, ConAgra, Cargill, and Jimmy John’s.  We have proudly represented such victims as Brianne KinerStephanie Smith and Linda Rivera.

If you or a family member became ill with an E. coli infection or HUS after consuming food and you’re interested in pursuing a legal claim, contact the Marler Clark E. coli attorneys for a free case evaluation.

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