Health department investigates E. Coli in North GA - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Health department investigates E. Coli in North GA

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WALKER COUNTY, GA (WRCB) -

North Georgia health officials are convinced E. Coli made someone in Walker County sick and now have the daunting task of finding the source and if anyone else has come in contact with the bacteria.

Last weekend, two people reported signs of HUS (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) a type of disease linked to E. Coli, but so far only one case shows positive.

Logan Boss with the health department says each case is reported and examined immediately.

"It is a very serious disease. Anyone can get it and it is a rare disease more common in children than adults," says Boss.

Boss wouldn't say if the victims were small children, but says these are the only HUS cases in North Georgia this year.

It's not unheard of, about 70,000 Americans suffer from foodbourne illnesses each year.

The last multi-state outbreak was linked to spinach in Massachusetts and Channel 3 has confirmed the two HUS cases are food-related.

Crabtree Farms says they have a handle on foodbourne illness by taking extra measures when handling your crops.

They haven't had any issues with bacteria and urge cleanliness to the public.

"We have many volunteers and we have a very strict hand-washing policy. We wash when working with crops and people's food," Sara McIntyre says.

The health department says HUS attacks the kidneys and can shut down functions in a matter of days.

Many of the causes come from uncooked food, but it's not always deadly if caught early.

"Most patients can recover from HUS and have normal kidney function it they are treated quickly and properly," Boss says.

The health department says the two cases of HSU are isolated and there is no public threat.

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