TRI-CITIES, Tenn. (WJHL) — Some elementary school students in Sullivan and Washington counties are experiencing illness from an E. Coli infection after taking a field trip to see animals at the Appalachian Fairgrounds last week, the Northeast Regional Health Office reports.
According to a statement from the office’s Regional Medical Officer, Dr. David Kirschke, MD, elementary children in both Washington and Sullivan counties took a field trip on Sept. 26 and 27 to an animal exhibit at the fairgrounds in Gray. The illnesses reportedly occurred following this trip.
Dr. Kirschke said the health departments are working to identify the source of these infections, which includes performing environmental testing at the fairgrounds. He said advice for staying healthy while visiting with animals, especially non-domesticated, can be found on the CDC’s website.
The full statement from Dr. Kirschke can be found below:
“The Northeast Regional Health Office and the Sullivan County Health Department are investigating several cases of illness caused by Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) among elementary school children in Washington and Sullivan counties. These illnesses occurred after some classes visited an animal exhibit at the fairgrounds on September 26 and 27. We are actively working to identify the source of these infections, including performing environmental testing at the site. The exhibit ended on September 27. Information on staying healthy while visiting animal exhibits is available on the CDC website.Northeast Regional Health Office, Dr. David Kirschke, MD