794076_owen2.jpgA young Massachussetts boy has lost his battle with E. coli and HUS.  Just 6 years old, Owen Carrignan was athletic and healthy, and had recently done and eaten the same things as his siblings and friends.  His death–or the source of his infection–is currently a mystery, but public health officials are working on that.

Many people don’t have any idea what HUS is until it’s too late.  It is a devastating blood disorder that causes kidney and other organ failure, and before the advent of modern dialysis technologies, it was a death sentence.  Today, survival rates are much improved, but those who do survive it are often left with severe and chronic long term kidney problems.  Read:  Hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS: what is it, how is it treated, and what are the risks and consequences?

Owen’s death is another in a continuously growing list of tragedies that happen, in all likelihood, because of contaminated food.  Best of luck to Owen’s family and public health officials in figuring out how this happened.