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March 28, 2016

E. coli outbreak shuts Lebanon goat farm

PHOTO | Oak Leaf Dairy Farm An E. coli outbreak has led to Oak Leaf Dairy Farm closing public access to its animals.

Seven confirmed cases of E. coli and two cases of Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome have led to a Lebanon goat farm shutting down access to its animals.

The state Department of Public Health (DPH) is investigating the outbreak at the Oak Leaf Dairy Farm, a goat farm in Lebanon. Patients sickened in this outbreak range in age from 2 to 25. The health department has confirmed at this point that six of the seven patients recently visited the farm.

DPH is currently coordinating with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Uncas Health District and the state Department of Agriculture to determine how the patients became ill.

E.coli is a bacterium that is found in animal and human feces and in foods. The particular strain a bacteria found in this outbreak is E.coli O157. E.coli can easily spread, especially among household members, if proper handwashing is not consistently used.

“We strongly encourage anyone who visited the farm in March and developed symptoms of this illness to contact their physician,” added DPH Commissioner Raul Pino.

Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) is a rare but serious illness that affects the kidneys and blood clotting system. It can develop in some patients who have been sickened with E.coli. It is more common in children than in adults and may be mild or severe. In severe cases, kidney function is greatly reduced, and dialysis may be necessary.

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