Powell County student diagnosed with E. coli

Published: Dec. 7, 2019 at 7:16 AM EST
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A student in Powell County classroom has been diagnosed with shiga-toxin producing E. coli, according to a letter posted on the Powell County Schools website Friday.

The letter, from the Powell County Health Department, says this type of E. coli can cause a severe bacterial infection of the intestines.

"It will often land people in the hospital with prolonged recoveries and the need for significant IV fluids and support therapies," Dr. Ryan Stanton, Board of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said.

Health department officials say parents of children who share a classroom with the student who was diagnosed were notified separately.

The Powell County Health Department says it is coordinating with school officials, health care providers, and state health department officials about the situation.

"Prevention includes basic infection control," Dr. Stanton said. "Wash your hands, clean surfaces, especially keyboards, phones, things like that that tend to collect a lot of germs."

Custodians were called in to clean and disinfect the classroom in question. The health department says any children who develop symptoms while at school will be sent home, and not allowed to return without a note from their health care provider.

Health department officials say symptoms of E. coli include watery or bloody diarrhea, stomach cramps, and fever. They say it can take up to 10 days after exposure for symptoms to begin.

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