E. Coli cases grow to 24

Dr. Mark Lundberg, Health Officer for Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD), announced today the number of identified E. coli O157 cases has grown to 24 and more are probable as the investigation into the outbreak continues. Four have been hospitalized.

Public Health officials have been investigating the E. coli O157 outbreak in the County since early last week when it became clear that there was an abnormal amount of individuals becoming ill from E. coli.

The outbreak is linked to an event held in Forest Ranch on Sept. 6 from noon to 6 p.m. The fundraiser event was for the Forest Ranch Volunteer Fire Department.

According to Public Health officials, tri-tip served at the event appears to be the cause for the outbreak of the bacteria; however, it is still unclear how the meat became contaminated.

Right now Public Health officials are working to prevent further cases. Anyone who attended this event and became ill should see their primary care physician and contact BCPHD at (530) 891-2732 (during business hours).

If the ill individual works in a high-risk occupation, he or she is asked to stop working until cleared to return to work by BCPHD. High-risk occupations include food handlers, those who care for children and those who give patient care.

E. coli O157 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and in the most severe cases, kidney failure. The very young, seniors and persons with weak immune systems are

most susceptible to this illness, but even healthy people can become very sick.

If you attended the Sept. 6 event and have any symptoms or are concerned that you may be ill, please contact your physician immediately and report your illness to BCPHD at (530) 891-2732.