Wood TV 8 reports that the Ottawa County Health Department is warning about an E. coli outbreak in the community.
As of Friday, there are 12 shiga toxin E. coli cases in Ottawa County, the health department said.
The shiga toxin producing E. coli is often associated with foodborne outbreaks. Symptoms include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps, vomiting and a low-grade fever.
“It’s a bacteria that can have some serious complications in some folks, particularly kids,” said Derel Glashower of the Ottawa County Health Department.
Five of the 12 infected individuals in the county have been hospitalized — two of them are children. Glashower said two have serious kidney complications.
The big concern is the significant number of E. coli infections that the county is seeing this year. Glashower said that on average, the county sees two to three cases each August.
The health department said it is working to see if there are any common denominators in the cases.
“It could be a while. We’re working closely with departments here in Ottawa County and just making sure that we’re chasing down every lead,” Glashower said.
In the meantime, some ways to prevent infection include washing your hands, washing fruits and vegetables well and under running water, cooking meats thoroughly, avoiding cross-contamination in food prep, avoiding raw milk or unpasteurized dairy or juice, and trying not to swallow water when swimming.
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms is asked to contact their health care provider.