diverse_e_coli.pngMac McLean of the Herald Courier is quickly becoming the go to reporter on the E. coli cases that are adding up in Eastern Tennessee and Southwestern Virginia. Mac McLean wrote that the outbreak that has 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 13. On Friday, the Northeast Tennessee Regional Health Office announced that it confirmed the presence of the potentially fatal bacteria in two people who started showing symptoms of a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infection on June 7 and June 9. One is from Sullivan County, said Health Office Director David Kirshke. 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.