Press reports from today indicate that now as many as 6 children have been confirmed for E. coli O157:H7 infection or hemolytic uremic syndrome in central Pennsylvania. The case count has increased from this morning by 3. Three of the six cases in the cluster have required hospitalization at Chambersburg Hospital, or Hershey Medical Center, for treatment of HUS. Included among those 3 is Avala Pierce, a three year old girl who at last report was on dialysis to treat her failing kidneys.
Five of the six cases are from Pennsylvania and one is a Maryland resident. Pennsylvania health authorities continue their investigation, according to Deputy Press Secretary Brandi Hunter-Davenport. “Our focus is identifying all commonalities amongst these individuals to determine the source of the outbreak,” she said.
Family members of some children sickened by the bacteria blame the water in the lake at Cowans Gap State Park, though the park remains open and recent water tests have been acceptable.