E. coli outbreak investigated in Mesa County

Eight people suffering from E. coli all had in common experience at the recent Mesa County Fair, county health officials said today.

Other than the common experience of having been at the fair, authorities have been unable to identify a specific area in which the patients had contact with the bacteria, Health Department Director Jeff Kuhr said.

“There’s nothing systematic at all,” Kuhr said.

None of the patients hospitalized, though officials are watching younger patients for worsening symptoms, Kuhr said.

All the cases were confirmed in the laboratory testing as E. coli.

Any continued threat from contacts at the fair is likely over because the incubation period for E. coli is 10 days and the fair ended 12 days ago, he said.

Authorities, however, are continuing to monitor for secondary infections that might be linked, for instance, to poor hand washing by friends or relatives of an infected person.

Health department officials were conducting additional tests today at the fairgrounds and had distributed questionnaires to find more information about where the bacteria was contacted.

Additional information could be released later today.


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