The Whatcom County Health Department in Bellingham is investigating an outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli O157:H7 infections.

The Washington State Department of Health and the Centers for

Disease Control and Prevention are assisting with the investigation.

Disease investigators are now calculating case counts based on lab-confirmed infection with E. coli O157:H7 and physician-diagnosed cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).

As of 2:00 PM PDT May 15:

  • Twenty-two people are confirmed cases.
  • No one has died.
  • Ten people have been hospitalized.
  • Four people have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS).
  • Illnesses in several other people are under investigation.
  • The investigation includes collecting several environmental samples from the venue for analysis.

Test results show at least one sample is a match for the outbreak strain.

All of the ill people attended the Milk Makers Fest between April 21 and 23 at the Northwest Fairgrounds in Lynden; helped with the event between April 20 and 24; or were close contacts of ill people associated with the event.

Most of the ill people are children, including older children who helped with the event.