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For Release: September 10, 2008
Contact: Leslea Bennett-Webb
Office of Communications

Situation Update No. 13
Outbreak of Severe Diarrheal Illness in Northeastern Oklahoma

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) said today at least 231 persons have become ill as the result of an E. coli 0111 outbreak in northeastern Oklahoma. Of that number, 185 were adults, 43 were children and the ages of three cases have not yet been confirmed.

At least 61 persons have been hospitalized including 16 who have received dialysis treatment. Of that number, nine were children and seven were adults.

The OSDH cautions that the number of reported cases and hospitalizations associated with the outbreak are likely to change as the investigation continues.

In an effort to establish if there was exposure to particular food items and illness, the OSDH is continuing to interview families with children and others who ate at the Country Cottage restaurant in Locust Grove, OK, on Aug. 15-17. Most persons who have become ill reported eating at the Country Cottage the weekend of Aug. 15. Persons can call the OSDH at 1-800-990-2769 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. each day through this Friday, Sept. 12.

“We have been heartened by the public response to our request to interview more persons who may possibly have been affected by this outbreak,” said State Epidemiologist Dr. Kristy Bradley. She said 258 interviews were completed by the OSDH yesterday.

Laboratory analysis of environmental samples taken from the restaurant indicated no disease-causing pathogens were found on the restaurant’s surfaces. Laboratory analysis of food samples from the restaurant is continuing.

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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