Kansas state health officials announced they are investigating of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157:H7 cases among persons who attended the Louisburg Cider Mill Ciderfest, which was held September 24-25 and October 1-2.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) says there has been seven cases identified to date. State and federal health officials performed an on-site assessment on October 27.
The symptoms of STEC infections vary for each person but often include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), and vomiting. If there is fever, it usually is not very high (less than 101˚F). Most people get better within 5–7 days as infections can be mild, but others can be severe or even life-threatening.Young children and the elderly are more likely to experience serious illness. People with weakened immune systems, including pregnant women, are also at risk for serious illness.
Around 5–10 percent of those who are diagnosed with E. coli O157 infection develop a potentially life-threatening complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Clues that a person is developing HUS include decreased frequency of urination, feeling very tired, and losing pink color in cheeks and inside the lower eyelids. Persons with HUS should be hospitalized because their kidneys may stop working and they may develop other serious problems. Most persons with HUS recover within a few weeks, but some suffer permanent damage or die.
The KDHE says if anyone has experienced diarrhea within one to 10 days after attending the Ciderfest on September 24-25 or October 1-2, please call the Epidemiology Hotline at 877-427-7317.
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