Number of ill from E. coli outbreak up to 231


The Oklahoma Department of Health updated the number of people ill in connection with an E. coli outbreak associated with a Locust Grove restaurant to 231.

One person has died, and 43 victims are children. Sixty-one people have been hospitalized with 16 getting dialysis treatment of kidney failure that's associated with severe cases of the food-borne bacterial illnesses.

Based on numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that makes the rare E. coli O111 outbreak in Oklahoma the largest of its type in national history.

The state Health Department says many of those who have become ill ate at Locust Grove's Country Cottage restaurant between Aug. 15 and 17.

The department is conducting an investigation into the exact source of the outbreak, with help from three CDC employees.

Country Cottage has remained closed since the outbreak was made public on Aug. 25. It is unclear if it will re-open.

Some of the outbreak's victims remained hospitalized with signs of organ failure. Medical professionals say organ damage associated with severe bacterial illnesses can be permanent.

E. coli is a group of bacteria, some of which produce toxins that are harmful to people. The bacteria are usually associated with the feces of animals. Victims of the Oklahoma outbreak have become sick with bloody diarrhea, vomiting and severe stomach cramps.