At least 5 children sick with E. coli O157:H7 possibly linked to Calif. lake

The Nevada County Public Health Department (NCPHD) has received reports of five young children with recent crampy abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Initial tests for three of the children have come back preliminarily positive for E. coli 0157:H7, which is the most commonly recognized Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli strain.

To date, no common food or animal exposure has been identified, but the Lake Wildwood Main Beach area has been a common recreational site among the cases.

NCEHD, in coordination with NCPHD and the Lake Wildwood Association, has temporarily closed the Main Beach access and swimming area associated with the Main Beach as a precaution to ensure public health and safety. Their staff collected water samples near the beach shoreline and the swim area. Test results received today show elevated fecal coliforms which are bacteria that can cause serious illness. For this reason, the Main Beach and swimming area will remain closed until levels fall. In addition, NCPHD and NCEHD advise no recreational swimming in the lake until additional beach areas have been tested. This is most critical for more vulnerable populations including young children, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with weakened immune systems.

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About Douglas Powell

A former professor of food safety and the publisher of, Powell is passionate about food, has five daughters, and is an OK goaltender in pickup hockey. Download Doug’s CV here. Dr. Douglas Powell editor, retired professor, food safety 3/289 Annerley Rd Annerley, Queensland 4103 61478222221 I am based in Brisbane, Australia, 15 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time