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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Idaho Lab Ties Death of Boy, 2, to Spinach Drink - New York Times: "Idaho Lab Ties Death of Boy, 2, to Spinach Drink
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Placitella comment: the number of food poisoning cases continues to rise. For more information go to food
Published: October 6, 2006
The 2-year-old who died of kidney failure set off by E. coli last month ate a spinach blend tainted with the same strain of the bacteria that has sickened nearly 200 people since mid-September, making his the second confirmed death in the outbreak, health officials say.
�It�s not a surprise,� a spokesman for the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Ross Mason, said Wednesday of the conclusion that the death of the toddler, Kyle Allgood of Chubbuck, Idaho, on Sept. 20 was linked to the outbreak. �We figured that would be the case.�
Scientists conducted tests since the death at a state laboratory in Boise to determine whether the E. coli strain in Kyle�s system matched the strain that killed an elderly Wisconsin woman and sickened 192 others.
The Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention considered Kyle�s death, as well as that of an elderly Maryland woman who died on Sept. 13 after eating fresh spinach, as suspect cases possibly linked to the outbreak. Health officials in Maryland said this week that they had not reached a finding on the woman�s death.
Tests to compare E. coli strains start with stool samples. By the time Kyle�s doctors knew that he had E. coli, the kidney failure had flushed his system so completely that obtaining a sample to test was impossible, Mr. Mason said.
After Kyle died, health officials at the state laboratory in Boise found a small sample that a hospital had taken before he was transferred to Primary Children�s Medical Center in Salt Lake City, where he died, Mr. Mason said. "


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