E. coli case documented in Johnson City, source still unknown

Becky Campbell • Jun 17, 2019 at 6:36 PM

The Tennessee Regional Health Department confirmed Monday that one person in the area was sickened last week after contracting E. coli, and the incident remained under investigation to determine the source.

An official said the single case was not related to food consumed at any area restaurant.

According to the Mayo Clinic website, escherichia coli (E. coli) bacteria normally live in the intestines of healthy people and animals, and most varieties of E. coli are harmless or cause relatively brief diarrhea. But a few strains can cause severe abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea and vomiting.

People can be exposed to E. coli from contaminated water or food — especially raw vegetables and undercooked ground beef. Healthy adults usually recover from an E. coli infection within a week, but young children and older adults have a greater risk of developing a life-threatening form of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Locally, one of the most known cases of E. coli occurred in 2004 after the death of six-year-old Jacob Luis Francisco, who died  of a bacterial infection caused by E. coli from an unknown source. His love for playing in nature and climbing trees inspire the idea for what is now Jacob’s Nature Park began in memory park, made possible by his father and local attorney Bill Francisco.

For more information about Jacob’s Nature Park at Sinking Creek, visit jacobfrancisco.com. The park’s entrance is located at 1220 King Springs Road in Johnson City.

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