GREEN COUNTY (WKOW) -- State health officials have linked cases of E. coli at a Monroe school with a deadly outbreak of the bacteria in the county.
The Green County Health Department says there have been two confirmed cases at Abe Lincoln Elementary. The department is now investigating a possible third case. All are students.
Health officials said Friday this is the same E. coli strain, E. coli O157, that sickened nine people in August and early September, including one child that died.
Officials are asking parents to perform stool test on all pre-kindergarten and kindergarten students at the school. Free stool kits are available at Abe Lincoln.
Investigators are still trying to determine the source of the bacteria.
E. coli O157 is a bacterium that infects the intestinal tract and may produce a toxin that affects other parts of the body.
Symptoms include diarrhea, which often is bloody, and severe abdominal cramps and will typically appear 3-4 days following exposure to the bacteria. Some people may become infected but do not have symptoms.
In children infected with E.coli O157, about one third will carry and shed the bacteria in their bowel movements for up to several weeks after symptoms resolve.
The Green County Health Department recommends the following:
For more information on cleaning/sanitizing and food safety please visit http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/communicable/FoodSafety/index.htm