E. coli bacteria that sickened kids in Whatcom County linked to barn where milk festival held

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

LYNDEN, Wash. (AP) — A health department report says the strain of E. coli bacteria that sickened people at the Milk Makers Fest in Lynden in April has been found in areas of the dairy barn where the event took place.

The Whatcom County Health Department report released Wednesday says environmental contamination with the bacteria is the likely source of the outbreak that sickened 25 people, most of them children.

Of those, 10 were hospitalized and six developed a type of kidney failure. No one died.

In nine of the cases, the ill person didn’t attend the April 21-23 event at a fairgrounds site but had close contact with someone who did.

The Bellingham Herald reports (http://is.gd/AvZHXW) that the health department’s environmental health supervisor, Tom Kunesh, says you can’t expect a barn “to ever be completely free of pathogenic bacteria.”

More than 1,300 county school children, accompanied by teachers and parents, attended the annual event designed to introduce young students to farming.


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