NEVADA COUNTY (CBS13) – At least nine children and one adult are sick from an E. Coli outbreak and health officials have shut down Lake Wildwood as a result.
“He’s just getting worse and worse,” said Solmaz B., whose son Darian is now ill.
Darian is not even 2-years-old. They were vacationing at the lake from Canada when the boy was infected with E. Coli.
“I don’t know if he will get better. I don’t know what to do or what kind of decisions I should make. It’s really stressful,” she said.
Darian is one of three hospitalized children who have developed Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which is potentially a life-threatening condition with anemia and kidney complications.
“Extremely scary; my son has been a healthy and happy kid. I have never had any problem with him,” Solmaz said.
Six children are still in the hospital and the community is rallying together.
Candace Wilson has been working closely with these families through The Norah Foundation, a non-profit, making sure they have their basic needs.
“Every parent’s worst nightmare is for their child to be sick and not be well,” she said.
Meanwhile, the community wants to know what’s causing it.
“Not knowing how the children got sick and not having a definite answer has been challenging for the community who expects to have answers,” she said.
Officials said the E. Coli infection is possibly linked to the main beach at Lake Wildwood. The department of public works collected samples from five beaches along the lake and found that three have high levels of fecal bacteria.
But where’s it coming from? Officials don’t know.
Solmaz said the owners of the lake should’ve done something sooner.
“The people who should’ve and taking care of that lake, they didn’t do their job,” she said.
Now she’s at a loss of what to do and hopes her son can fight through this.
“I have asked every single family member and friends — everyone that I know — to pray for him because that’s the only way that I know to do because prayer is the best thing,” Solmaz said
The investigation will continue, for starters by releasing a green dye into the lake to look for any sewage leaks. That color will dissipate in 24 hours.
The lake water will be tested regularly at seven different locations near the beaches listed above. This testing will occur twice a week at the same seven locations until further notice. The beaches, therefore, will remain closed until further notice and the no-swimming advisory remains in effect as well.
The public pool remains open and no infections have been linked to the pool at this time.
The symptoms of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli include severe stomach cramps, diarrhea (often bloody), vomiting and sometimes fever. It can take up to 10 days after exposure to develop symptoms, and most people recover within five to ten days.
“This illness is more dangerous in young children than healthy adults, and should be taken very seriously,” said Dr. Ken Cutler, Nevada County Health Officer. “If you or a loved one experience these symptoms, please contact your health care provider right away. If there are complications such as dehydration or anemia, timely treatment can make a significant difference in your recovery.”
Moreover, anyone with these symptoms or caring for someone with these symptoms should wash their hands meticulously and frequently and should not prepare food for others. In addition, anyone who has experienced these symptoms should not attend daycare with without clearance from a health care provider.
For more information about E.Coli, visit the California Department of Public Health’s website located at https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/E-coli-O157H7.aspx.