Health officials on E. coli case: No threat to public; search for source continues

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Lincoln City, OR (KPTV) — Health officials at a news conference in Lincoln County said they’ve found no evidence that there’s a potential danger to the public in the wake of the death of a 4-year-old girl who had contracted E. coli.

Four-year-old Serena Profitt was taken off life support at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital on Monday night. As her family copes with her death, state employees are checking her family’s property in Otis, as well as other places they went in public.

“So far, we haven’t found any evidence that there’s a source that would be a potential danger to the public,” said Lincoln County Health Officer Dr. David Long, who added the case is believed to be isolated.

Local health officials said they’ve collected samples of the various possible sources and submitted them for lab work, but the results won’t be available for several days.

Dr. Paul Cieslak of the Oregon Health Authority said it’s often not possible to nail down the source of an infection, and that officials may never know the source of the fatal strain of E. coli.

In addition to the death of Serena, there is a young boy who is a family friend currently hospitalized in Tacoma. Brad Sutton, 5, is still in critical condition and is undergoing treatment for failure of his kidneys, according to family.

A restaurant where the two children ate over Labor Day weekend has been told to throw out all its food, but that doesn’t mean it’s the source of the E. coli.

“We haven’t linked anything to that particular restaurant,” Long said. “The environmental health specialist went there and checked the restaurant and from everything they can see, they were in compliance.”

As the investigation continues into the source of the contamination, FOX 12 requested an interview with doctors at Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital, where Serena was first seen and released. Despite the family giving them permission to speak with media about the case, they say they cannot talk about this case.

By Fox 12 Staff

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