Daycare E. coli Outbreak in Cocke County, Tennessee

Attorney Fred Pritzker Email Fred Pritzker

Tennessee is investigating a daycare E. coli outbreak in Cocke County where three children have been infected by Escherichia coli O157. Families have been notified of the risks, including cross-contamination in an environment where changing diapers can lead to more cases, but the home daycare has not been closed. Sick children must be kept away.

The Tennessee Department of Health, headed by Dr. John J. Dreyzehner, is investigating the cause of the outbreak, which is not known at this time. The agency is not identifying the daycare and has declined to give the ages of the children or disclose whether any of them has been hospitalized with a naturally occurring complication known as HUS, or hemolytic uremic syndrome.

HUS is the most common cause of kidney failures in children and is especially prone to occur in kids who are age 5 and under. This life-threatening disease attacks a person’s red blood cells and misshapes them, sometimes resulting in stroke, seizures, heart problems, anemia and central nervous system disorders, including paralysis.

Less threatening cases of toxic E. coli infection also are concerning because the pathogen can do damage to a person’s vascular system.  Studies have shown that any toxic E. coli infection can have long-lasting health implications that require monitoring by medical personnel throughout life — a perpetual harm that experienced attorneys will calculate in claims that are settled and paid by E. coli litigation.

Parents should be aware that while the original cause of many E. coli O157:H7 outbreaks is food-borne, often involving under-cooked ground beef, uncooked produce, raw milk or other items, the bacteria is carried in an infected person’s stool and fecal-oral transmission can occur accidentally if a person who is changing diapers doesn’t carefully disinfect their hands before touching anything else — especially food or eating and drinking utensils.

An infected child can carry the bacteria for a period of time after symptoms subside and extreme caution should be taken to avoid cross-contamination.

In 2007, a 20-month-old Cocke County girl died of kidney failure after being infected with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, possibly from contaminated ground beef.

Parents whose children have been sickened in this Cocke County, Tennessee, E. coli outbreak can turn to E. coli lawyers at Pritzker Olsen Attorneys for legal advice on how to recover insurance damages. Our firm is one of the very few in the country practicing extensively in the area of food-borne illness and has many years of experience handling child E. coli cases. Over the years we have collected tens of millions of dollars for E. coli O157:H7 outbreak victims of all ages.

Free case consultations are provided by a lawyer in our office who can be reached online by leaving your contact information or by calling 1-888-377-8900 (Toll Free).

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel

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