Recently, officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services were forced to look into an E. coli infection outbreak in Lincoln, Cleveland and Gaston.
It happened to people who went to the Cleveland County Fair from the 28th of September through the 7th of October. A of mid-October, there were close to 10 children and 5 adults who had been reported to have gotten sick from the outbreak. According to Laura Gerald, the State Health Director, there have been two confirmed cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections. This is bacteria that is found in the feces of animals. It can be transferred to and from victims through food, by touching their hands to their mouths and by touching others.
“We are working with county health departments, hospitals and physicians in the region to identify any additional cases related to this outbreak,” said Gerald.
Our Gaston County personal injury lawyers understand that there has been one death reported from this outbreak. It happened to a child in Gaston County. When someone suffers from this infection, they can experience bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea and even a low-grade fever. Following the exposure, some can develop some serious complications, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), kidney failure and even death. Young children, elderly residents and people with specific medical conditions are at serious risk for these infections and the side effects that come with them. When this is not treated, death is likely. If you think you’ve been infected by E. coli, contact a medical professional immediately and talk with an experienced attorney to help you to fight for your rights.
Officials with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services have not determined where exactly this outbreak started. All they know is that it came from the Cleveland County Fair.
“With fairs and festival season underway, we would be remiss not to remind people of the importance of hand washing as a way to prevent the spread of this and other illnesses,” said Gerald.
The outbreak continues though. As of the most recent updates from the health department, there have been a total of 64 children and more than 40 adults who have been affected. There are a dozen who sought medical treatment in the hospital and the one child death.
“Our goal throughout this investigation is to identify how to prevent similar outbreaks and deaths in the future,” said State Health Director Laura Gerald.
Officials are talking with those who have been infected, their families, and people at the fair to try and figure out the source. The investigation has also included geographical analysis and environmental sampling at the fairgrounds as well as laboratory testing. Officials are expecting the number to rise as the inflection spreads.
Each year, E.coli affects close to 270,000 people and kills about 100.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact Lee Law Offices, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights. Call 1-800-887-1965.
More Blog Entries:
Fall Accidents a Risk for Elderly Residents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2012
Distraction Puts Teens in Peril — Whether Walking or Driving, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, September 30, 2012