Whatcom health officials say 36 sick from Lynden E. coli outbreak

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E. Coli (Photo: U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention)

LYNDEN, Wash. (AP) — The Whatcom County Health Department says an E. coli outbreak at the Milk Makers Fest left 36 people sick and sent five to the hospital.

The Bellingham Herald reports that about 1,325 first-graders, plus teachers and parents, from all Whatcom County school districts went to the late-April event. It was held at the Northwest Washington Fair & Event Center.

The health department is still looking for the source of the outbreak. The number of people sickened has continued to rise since reports started to surface earlier this week.

Most of those reported ill were first-graders, although some adults and older children also became sick. The main sources for E. coli are contaminated food, water and surfaces, along with contact with livestock.

The Washington state Department of Health’s Communicable Disease Epidemiology is helping county officials investigate the outbreak.

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