Bloody Diarrhrea In Children Being Investigated

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Children With Bloody Diarrhrea

The Kern County Department of Public Health is currently investigating the hospitalization of children with bloody diarrhea.

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Preliminary test results indicate the presence of Shiga-like toxins suggestive of E. coli but final confirmation is pending. The hospitalized children are linked through multiple contact conditions including school and general social friendships.

"The source of the contamination is still under investigation", said B. A. Jinadu, M.D., M.P.H., Kern County Health Officer. At this point there is no evidence of ongoing contamination or threat. As a precaution, Dr. Jinadu urges the community to strictly observe basic hygiene procedures such as hand washing and proper disposal of all soiled materials.

In addition to sanitary hygiene, it is also important to be attentive to adequate cleaning of raw fruits and vegetables prior to consumption. Anyone experiencing symptoms of diarrhea (watery or bloody), vomiting, abdominal cramps, and nausea, should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is especially important when symptoms are present in children whose "after toileting" skills may not be the best.

E. coli infection has been linked to the following situations: undercooked beef, consumption of unpasteurized milk, ingestion of water contaminated with feces such as recreational areas, lakes and pools. Everyone who has symptoms of illness should interrupt activities of work, school and social gatherings until their medical care provider has determined that they are free of infections that could be spread to others.

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