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WASHINGTON STATE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH: OFFICIALS CONCERNED ABOUT SECONDARY TRANSMISSION OF E. COLI BACTERIA

 OLYMPIA, Wash., Jan. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- State health officials are concerned that children suffering from illnesses related to the outbreak of E. coli 0157:H7 should not return to daycare programs until their physicians are certain they are no longer carrying the bacteria, the Washington State Department of Health said today.
 Even though the symptoms of bloody diarrhea and severe stomach cramps may disappear after a few days, the bacteria can remain in a child's body for several weeks. As a result, children should have negative stool cultures before going back to daycare. Parents, along with daycare employees, should be especially careful to wash their hands thoroughly after changing diapers, as well as after using the bathroom themselves, or before preparing food.
 In addition, adults who are confirmed to be carrying the E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria and who work either in food service establishments or who work with frail or sick people also should not return to their jobs before having negative stool cultures.
 Health officials say transmission of the bacteria can occur easily from fecal contamination on hands.
 Anyone suffering from severe stomach cramps or bloody diarrhea should contact their physician or their local health department immediately.
 -0- 1/25/93
 /CONTACT: Dean R. Owen, 206-753-3934, or John Kobayashi, M.D., M.P.H., 206-361-2914, both of the Washington State Department of Health/


CO: Washington State Department of Health ST: Washington IN: HEA SU:

LM-SW -- SE007 -- 8574 01/25/93 14:08 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jan 25, 1993
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