A 4-year-old girl from Oregon has died from complications associated with a strain of E. coli that her family says she contracted over the Labor Day weekend.
Serena Faith Profitt died Monday at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital in Portland, the Oregonian reported. She tested positive for E. coli, but the state public health lab hasn’t confirmed the strain, the hospital said in a statement.
Serena had played with other children on Labor Day weekend at a gathering in Otis, Lincoln County. She shared a turkey sandwich with a 5-year-old boy who is now being treated for kidney failure at a Tacoma hospital. Both children complained of fevers and abdominal cramps two days later. Serena’s symptoms worsened, and she was pronounced brain-dead after she suffered a stroke on Sunday.
Lincoln County and Oregon Public Health Division officials are investigating, the Oregonian reported.
E. coli can be acquired by eating contaminated food, according to the Washington State Department of Health. Rare or inadequately cooked meat is the most common source of the infection, but fresh vegetables, unpasteurized fruit juices and raw milk also cause outbreaks. Symptoms often include severe diarrhea and abdominal cramps, which appear between three and nine days after exposure.
There are 150 to 300 reported cases in Washington annually, according to the health department. Two cases were reported in King County and three cases were reported in Spokane County in May; the outbreak was linked to contaminated raw clover sprouts from an Idaho producer.