E. coli in eastern South Dakota

The South Dakota department of health is investigating several cases of E. coli in northeastern South Dakota.

The cases are in and around the Sisseton area.

According to state epidemiologist Joshua Clayton, some of the symptoms of E-Coli are bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain without any fever.

Those who have symptoms should see their medical provider and get tested. Clayton also said the state is still working to determine the source of the E-Coli.

“At this point, we have not identified a single source that’s causing the illnesses up in the area,” Clayton said. “But we are investigating to identify what might be common among the cases that we know of. The department of health is contacting those individuals and identifying where they may have been the time leading up to their illness.”

E. coli: Event raises $50K for South Dakota boy

Jake Shama of the Mitchell Republic reports that watching 6-year-old Eagan Hudson playing darts, eating candy and running around the Tyndall Community Center on Saturday, one would never guess he’d been released from the hospital just one month earlier.

egan-hudsonBon Homme County residents and others from as far away as Wisconsin filled the community center and raised more than $50,000 during the benefit for Eagan and his family, according to James Torsney, one of the event’s organizers.

The benefit was held to help pay medical bills, which the family incurred when Eagan was taken to Sanford Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls for treatment of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), believed to be caused by an E. coli infection.

“It was really hard, and I had to go through lots of pain. It was not fun,” said Eagan, of Tyndall. “I just had all those doctors help me, and everything went good.”

Eagan and his brother, Kalem, 4, contracted E. coli in the middle of September. Kalem’s illness was resolved fairly quickly, his parents said, but Eagan’s condition didn’t improve. By Oct. 6, platelet and kidney tests raised red flags, and doctors sent Eagan to Sioux Falls for treatment.

Three days later, Eagan suffered a stroke, which temporarily prevented him from moving his right arm and leg, and he started having seizures the following morning.

Doctors had medication flown in from six hours away, and Eagan was sedated for 10 days, during which he was given nonstop dialysis treatments.

3 sick; SD Salmonella outbreak associated with baby chicks

South Dakota health officials are reporting an outbreak of salmonella associated with baby chicks.

The department says that three cases have been reported in the southeastern part of the state and one in the southwest. One case was a child younger than baby.chick4 and the others were adults.

It was not clear if the outbreak is related to an on-going outbreak that has sickened 163 people in 26 states dating back to 2011.

Clostridium perfringens in tacos fingered as source that sickened 50 at South Dakota basketball game

Laboratory testing by the South Dakota Department of Health has identified Clostridium perfringens as the cause of the outbreak associated with the Pierre-Mitchell high school boys’ basketball game held in Pierre, Jan. 31.

KSFY ABC reports the investigation, which included voluntary questionnaires, implicated tacos as the source food of the outbreak; of those completing questionnaires, 75 per cent who ate the tacos reported becoming ill.

The outbreak follows a similar C. perfringens outbreak in Las Vegas before Christmas in which ham was held at improper temperatures and inadequately reheated, sickening at least 21 people. As noted in the Las Vegas outbreak, the majority of C. perfringens outbreaks are often the results of improperly cooled food or food held at room temperature for extended periods.

Salmonella in South Dakota; 4 kids confirmed ill, at least 20 suspected

Brown County, South Dakota, is reporting four children with confirmed Salmonella casesin in the past week and at least 20 other children have been ill, but not confirmed.

The source of the has not been identified. Through November 23, a total of 154 cases of salmonellosis were reported in South Dakota for the year. Of these 154 cases, 23 (15%) have been from BrownCounty. Statewide 31% of the Salmonella cases have been children 14 years and younger.

Laws don’t make food safe, people do

A new state law in South Dakota has state regulators adding new requirements to help ensure safety at local farmers markets.

After taking effect July 1, local food vendors that work out of their home kitchens and not commercial kitchens will now have to label their products with ingredients, contact information and submit their recipes for testing to help ensure better safety.

State Representative Jacqueline Sly, R-Rapid City, the prime sponsor of the bill that became law, said,

"In this day in age with looking at food safety and allergies, we want to protect producers and consumers. I know it’s a little more work, but in the long run it would be worth it if there were people who got sick."

Joan Hegerfeld-Baker, an Extension food safety specialist in Brookings, said,

"There are a lot of people who really haven’t learned properly. There are shortcuts people are starting to use that are not safe. You want people to use safe, tested methods."