October 15, 2012 — At least 21 people have been sickened and a 2 year-old boy has died from an outbreak of E. coli food poisoning at the Cleveland County Fair, west of Charlotte, North Carolina. All of the people who got sick attended the fair, but state health department officials have not yet identified the exact source. The strain of E. coli can cause severe kidney damage, kidney failure, or death.
Officials at the state health department have reported that at least 14 children have been sickened, and 6 have required hospitalization or intensive care. Four of the children have undergone dialysis (mechanically cleaning the blood) and three have developed Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS).
HUS is a life-threatening complications of E. coli food poisoning that occurs when damaged red blood cells clog the kidneys’ filtering system. The kidneys can become damaged or fail. HUS disproportionately affects children. The disease is also most serious in children.
Health department officials have warned doctors in the region to watch for symptoms of E. coli and HUS. People who attended the Cleveland County Fair should also seek emergency medical attention if they develop diarrhea for at least three days, or blood in their stools. These could be the first symptoms of a life-threatening E. coli infection.
E. coli is a type of bacteria that thrives in the intestines and feces of many animals, including sheep, goats, and cattle. Although not all strains of E. coli are harmful, some produce a powerful Shiga toxin, which can cause kidney failure in humans if the bacteria is ingested. Serious cases of E. coli food poisoning can cause kidney damage, kidney failure, HUS, and death. The symptoms of the disease do not always appear right away — the bacteria may have an incubation period of up to 11 days. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 10% of people with E. coli develop HUS. About 3-5% of infections are fatal.
Do I have an E. Coli Food Poisoning Lawsuit?
The Schmidt Firm, PLLC is currently accepting E. coli induced injury cases in all 50 states. If you or somebody you know has been injured by an outbreak of E. coli food poisoning, you should contact our lawyers immediately for a free case consultation. Please use the form below to contact our Food Poisoning Litigation Group or call toll free 24 hours a day at (866) 920-0753.
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