Currently, the La Crosse County Health Department is investigating eight reported cases of E.Coli poisoning. This specific strain is known to cause diarrhea in victims and can send young children to the hospital. It has not yet been linked to any specific food item or retailer.
Many Americans associate E.Coli with the Jack in the Box outbreak in the 1990s. It can develop in beef, as it did during that outbreak, and it can also develop in produce like spinach, kale, and sprouts as well as unpasteurized milk. Food poisoning can have severe symptoms for victims. It can also be preventable, containable, and most importantly, curable.
Ways to Prevent the Spread of E.Coli
E.Coli can be spread through unsanitary food handling and storage procedures. Regardless of the perceived E.Coli risk, it is important for all food handlers to take special precaution to wash their hands frequently and avoid cross contamination by using separate utensils, cutting boards, and storage containers for food.
Everybody can reduce their chance of contracting E.Coli by making the following into regular habits:
- Washing their hands thoroughly after coming in from the outdoors;
- Washing their hands thoroughly after using the bathroom or changing a diaper; and
- Washing hands thoroughly before handling food and eating. This includes packaged foods as well as foods fresh from the garden or produce retailer.
As a parent, make it a priority to instill good hygiene habits in your children like these. Another way to avoid contracting E.Coli is to stay updated about recent outbreaks and avoiding foods and retailers associated with them.
Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome
E.Coli is especially harmful for children because it can lead to hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is a condition caused by damaged red blood cells being caught in the kidneys’ filtering system, which can lead to kidney failure. When hemolytic uremic syndrome is left untreated, it can be fatal.
When hemolytic uremic syndrome occurs, it usually develops after the victim has experienced diarrhea for five to 10 days. The stools may be bloody during this time. Although it is more common for children who have been exposed to E.Coli, it can occur in adults as well.
Treatment for the condition can include:
- Kidney dialysis;
- Fluid replacement;
- Plasma exchange;
- Red blood cell transfusion; and
- Platelet transfusion.
With proper treatment, most patients make a full recovery.
Work with an Experienced Buffalo Grove Food Poisoning Lawyer
At best, E.Coli is unpleasant. At worst, it can be deadly. If you or your child suffered from E.Coli poisoning because of another party’s failure to prevent food contamination or the transmission of the bacteria, you could be entitled to receive monetary compensation for your damages through a personal injury claim. To learn more, contact our team of experienced food poisoning lawyers at Newland & Newland, LLP today to schedule your initial consultation in our office. We serve clients in the Arlington Heights, Palatine, Rolling Meadows, Libertyville, Mundelein, Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Elk Grove, and Itasca areas.
(image courtesy of Brooke Cagle)