Two kids from Utah recently died because of an E. Coli infection. The children were affected in an enclave of Hildale, in southern Utah, where they resided. Health authorities recognized and alerted the population about the E. Coli outbreak through a statement posted on the Facebook page of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department on Saturday.

The dangerous bacteria has affected other residents of Hildale. As well, other kids might be infected in the area. Local health authorities are not sure about the origin of this E. Coli outbreak. They believed it was transmitted by water, but according to their investigation, it wasn’t like that.

Image credit: NPR
Image credit: NPR

“There was some question about the safety of the water there,” said David Heaton, Southwest Utah Public Health Department public information officer. “That is one way E. Coli can be transmitted. All our tests so far have shown that the water is clean.”

E. Coli  outbreak is affecting this Utah community

E. Coli is affecting the community of Hildale in Utah; several people have been hit by the pathogen. Sadly, two kids died because of it since their immune system is more delicate. The two of them were hospitalized about two weeks ago, and local health authorities don’t know how they were exposed to the virus. However, they continue investigating to prevent similar cases. Other kids in the community might have been exposed to the E. Coli too.

Authorities are checking for contamination in the water, food, and animals. Though water test has apparently come back clean, the local health department has not released the official number of people that have been affected by this outbreak. However, they highlighted that it doesn’t pose a threat to the state’s population because it has ally affected a small area.

“We really feel that the community as a whole there is at low or no risk at this time,” said Heaton.

Outbreaks that occur in a single location, as this one, are not a threat to the public in general.

Hildale and Colorado City were known before as the Short Creek Community. This area is known as a center for breakaway Mormon fundamentalists who practiced polygamy until 1890. Hildale has about 300 residents right now. It is located about 300 miles south of Salt Lake City on the Utah-Arizona border.

E. Coli can be very dangerous

E. Coli is a bacteria found in the environment, in the intestine of animals and of course in those of human beings. Infections are linked to the contact of feces particles with the mouth.  In general, people who are infected by the E. Coli can overcome it easily. It usually causes diarrhea, stomach cramps, vomits, fever, urinary tract infections, respiratory illness, and other symptoms. However, certain populations are more likely to develop severer symptoms that might even lead to death. It should be handled more carefully when it comes to children under five years old and elder people.

To avoid it, it is important to wash hands with soap, clean food very well, and maintain the sources of water clean.

Source: Fox 13 now