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For Release: August 30, 2008
Contact: Leslea Bennett-Webb
Office of Communications
405/684-3920

NOTE TO NEWS OUTLETS: This will be the last Situation Update for the weekend unless events warrant otherwise. Next Situation Update will be Tuesday, Sept. 2.

Situation Update No. 6
Outbreak of Severe Diarrheal Illness in Northeastern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) reports today that at least 176 persons have become ill as a result of the E. coli 0111 outbreak in northeastern Oklahoma. Cases include 128 adults and 48 children. Federal and state health officials say E. coli 0111 is a rare type not normally associated with an outbreak this large.

OSDH disease investigators, along with staff from Tulsa Health Department and area local county health departments, have interviewed more than 450 persons in an effort to identify the source of the outbreak. Interviews continue this weekend.

While the source has not yet been identified, health officials continue to focus on the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove, OK, after interviews with cases indicated most had eaten there during the time period Aug. 15 through Aug. 23. The restaurant is closed while the investigation continues. Not all persons who ate at the restaurant have become ill. No other restaurant or food service outlet in the area has been linked to the outbreak.

OSDH laboratory analysis of water samples taken from a private well on the restaurant property is continuing, however, health officials believe it is unlikely that any well water contamination is the source of the outbreak.

Where available in northeastern Oklahoma, the public may call 2-1-1 for more information about the outbreak. Additional information is also on the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Web site at www.health.ok.gov. Click on “Current Features – Severe Diarrheal Illness Outbreak.”

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