Eight confirmed and two suspected cases of E. coli bacteria were reported Friday in Ellensburg by the Kittitas County Public Health Department, an increase of three from Thursday. Eight of the 10 cases were in children who attend Creative Kids Learning Center or Little Tot Town day care centers, which the health department closed Wednesday. About 120 children attend the two facilities, and nearly 70 of them are awaiting test results. Before they can return to any day care facility, the state Department of Health is requiring one negative test. Two negative tests are required from those exhibiting E. coli symptoms in the past three weeks.
"We may never know the source [primary case] of the outbreak," said Amy Diaz, public information officer for the health department. "(The cause) is more difficult to isolate when you have person-to-person spread of the illness."
Far from being rare,person-to-person, or "secondary infections" in which children pass the bug to other children they play with are common. That is why what you or your neighbor feeds a child may impact others in the community.