More and more cases of E. coli are being associated with Oak Leaf Dairy. There are now 41 cases of E. coli poisoning caused by the dairy. The large majority of E. coli cases (34 out of 41) occurred in children, with 22 of those children being under the age of 5. A total of 10 people were had to be hospitalized because of their infection, with 1 person still in the hospital. There have been 3 reported cases of HUS. Most of the illnesses began in mid March, and health officials have estimated that visitors were exposed to the E. coli bacteria between March 6 and March 20, 2016.
The investigation into the outbreak is ongoing, but health officials have ruled out several potential sources. Officials have found no evidence that milk, cheese, soap, and other products produced and sold by Oak Leaf Dairy are linked to the outbreak. This is partially because the goat milk used in Oak Leaf Dairy has undergone the process of pasteurization. Pasteurization is a process that heats raw milk for a short period of time in order to kill any bacteria found in the milk. Unpasteurized milk, also called raw milk, has lately been a very common source of foodborne illness outbreaks.
E.coli is a family of bacteria that is found in many environments. Some strains of the bacteria can cause illness in humans. E. coli is one of the most common sources of foodborne illness in the United States. Symptoms of E. coli poisoning will appear within 72 hours after infection. Usually, an E. coli infection will produce symptoms including diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping. Children, the elderly, and those with suppressed immune systems are at an increased risk of developing a serious E. coli infection. If you or a loved one begins to show the symptoms of E. coli poisoning, contact a medical professional.