CACHE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — There have been six confirmed cases of E. coli infection in Cache County as of yesterday, Aug. 28, according to the Bear River Health Department (BRHD).
Cache County health officials are investigating the source of infection after six cases of E. coli were reported to the BRHD. Officials say preliminary findings point to a potential cluster of cases.
The Utah Department of Health and Human Services and the Utah State Laboratory are assisting BRHD in investigating any potential links between the six cases, a press release said.
This comes at a time when Utah County officials are working to prevent the spread of E. coli in Lehi. Earlier this summer, E. coli bacteria were found in the Kamas City water system in Summit County leading to a boil order.
“Although we are actively working to identify the source of this outbreak, there is no specific risk to the general public at this time. However, we advise residents to practice good hygiene, such as thoroughly washing their hands, especially after using the restroom and before handling food,” BRHD Health Officer Jordan Mathis said.
Symptoms of E. coli infection may include diarrhea (often bloody), abdominal cramps, nausea, and vomiting. According to the CDC, in severe cases, it can lead to kidney failure, especially among young children, the elderly, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
The BRHD provided the following tips to avoid infection:
- Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water before preparing and consuming food, after using the restroom, and after contact with animals.
- Cook meat thoroughly to kill harmful bacteria.
- Avoid consuming raw milk and undercooked meat.
- Thoroughly wash garden-grown fruits and vegetables before consuming.
- Stay hydrated and seek medical attention if symptoms of E. coli infection are present
- If you suspect you have been exposed to the bacteria or are exhibiting symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.
In addition, Utah County health officials previously told its residents not to ever drink irrigation water or let children or animals play or swim in it as it can contain contaminants.