Cape Girardeau County Health Dept. officials issue E. coli warni - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Cape Girardeau County Health Dept. officials issue E. coli warning

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According to the Cape County Health Dept., the most important thing is to make sure your health care provider tests you for E. coli. According to the Cape County Health Dept., the most important thing is to make sure your health care provider tests you for E. coli.
Stephanie says she's been hit by the bacteria three times. She says she got it once from chicken, once from tomatoes, and once from spinach at local restaurants. Stephanie says she's been hit by the bacteria three times. She says she got it once from chicken, once from tomatoes, and once from spinach at local restaurants.

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) - Southeast Missouri health departments warn people to be aware of a possible E.coli outbreak.

So far they are looking into nine possible cases from Cape, Perry, Stoddard, and Pemiscot counties. Originally they were looking into 10 cases. One was ruled out.

As of Wednesday afternoon, officials say they have no idea where it's coming from but they are looking into the possible cases of infection. However so far they haven't found a link.

According to the Cape County Health Dept., the most important thing is to make sure your health care provider tests you for E. coli. Those who've been hit by the bacteria before tell Heartland News they feel awareness is key because the sickness it can cause is no joke.

"It's major," said Stephanie Stockard, of Jackson.

"It was hard," recalled her husband Shawn. "And the kids were coming to me saying if mommy was going to die."

Stephanie says she's been hit by the bacteria three times. She says she got it once from chicken, once from tomatoes, and once from spinach at local restaurants.

"I thought it was the flu at first. It was worse than labor," said Stephanie. "I was lying on the floor crying."

Health officials say it can come from anything from a restaurant, to a product, to a water source.

The Stockards say they want to tell you to take it seriously. While it probably won't kill you, it can make you very sick.

"She pretty much laid on the couch for a week," said Shawn. "She couldn't go to the bathroom she couldn't do anything."

Meanwhile, pool guys like Randy Barnhouse of Atlantis Swimming Pools will also tell you E. coli is nothing to scoff at.

He regularly tests pool for E. coli and bacteria that could end up in the water lots of ways.

"We all have a dirty butt," said Barnhouse. "We are all carrying around 1.4 grams of fecal matter that transferred to the pool of we don't shower. I've heard water parks full to capacity contain up to four pounds of fecal matter people are swimming around in but if the free chlorine level is right it kills it immediately."

He says you can get tests strips at any pool supply store and test for yourself if you want. These strips will tell you if the water has enough chlorine. Even crystal clear water can be contaminated.

Visit these links to learn more about E. coli.

CDC: E. coli

Mayo Clinic: E. coli

Foodsafety.gov

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