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E. coli
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Cluster of 7 children in King County infected with toxin-producing E. coli

A lab technician holds a bacteria culture that shows a positive infection of enterohemorrhagic E. coli, also known as the EHEC bacteria, from a patient at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf on June 2, 2011 in Hamburg, Germany. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

Public Health — Seattle & King County is investigating a cluster of toxic E. coli cases that left seven children infected over a two-week period.

The children, all under 14, were infected with Shinga toxin-producing E. coli., also known as STEC. The cases were reported between April 22 and May 1.

Three of the children are under five.

All the children developed symptoms consistent with STEC including diarrhea, abdominal cramping, nausea and vomiting. Six of the children were hospitalized, and one developed a kidney complication.

The investigators haven’t identified any foods, restaurants, or other sources in common across the cases, and it isn’t yet known if they share the same source. They are conducting interviews with the kids and parents to determine common links.

The Washington State Public Health Laboratory is doing further testing to confirm the strain and perform genetic sequencing.

Health officials say parents should contact their health care provider if their child develops serious symptoms.

By KIRO 7 News Staff

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