Three students at a school in Monroe, Louisiana have tested positive for E. coli O157:H7, reportedly as a result of playing in a “mud-pit” at a farm. A fourth illness is also likely linked. The students, all of whom were hospitalized, attended Ouachita Christian School. The link to between the illnesses and the mud pit was confirmed by Dr. Shelley Jones, Region 8 director of the Department of Health and Hospitals: “Four students were admitted to the hospital,” Jones said. “Three tested positive for E. coli symptoms.”
The school has taken responsive action:
OCS headmaster Bobby Stokes said school officials were contacted by DHH last week and sent notices to parents Friday. “They followed it up with a notice of their own,” Stokes said. He said the party was not put on by the school.”
Farm environments have been, not surprisingly, linked to outrbeaks of E. coli O157:H7, and other pathogens, in the past. The CDC has issued guidelines for reducing risks of transmission in farm environments.