E. coli outbreak hits the Tri-Cities
RICHLAND, Wash. - There were two cases of E.coli confirmed in the Tri-Cities today.
The Benton Franklin Health Department leaders think the two got sick from tainted spinach that is now being recalled nationwide.
The Health Department said a boy and an elderly woman were affected. They are both from Richland and do not know each other.
The Health Department is still investigating and said they are waiting for test results but said it looks like both victims were exposed to bad spinach.
The Health Department reports that the young boy has recovered and went back to school today and the exact condition of the elderly woman is not available.
E.coli is a bacteria that can be deadly. One person has died and more than 100 are sick because of an outbreak linked to bad spinach from California.
According to the Health Department it usually takes about four days for someone to feel sick.
The health department said that two reported E.coli cases in one day is out of the ordinary and said outbreaks are usually caused by under cooked hamburger.
Larry Jecha is a doctor with the Benton Franklin Health Department. He said, "It's an alert to people that you have to be careful. If you have bad spinach don't be using it."
The Health Department said it is important to wash your hands and can spread from one person to another. Main symptoms include severe diarrhea or bloody diarrhea. Contact a doctor if you are feeling sick.
The government reports that they do not know the exact cause of contamination of the spinach from California but do not think anyone tampered with it.
Officials said 21 states have reported spinach related E.coli cases and said consumers should continue to steer clear of fresh spinach products.