Germ often linked to food poisoning found in Millbury boy
Disease trackers have confirmed that a 6-year-old Millbury boy, suspected of dying of food poisoning, did have E. coli bacteria in his system.
In an e-mailed statement Thursday, Anne Roach, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, said that the agency confirmed the presence of E.coli 0157 in its investigation.
E. coli 0157 is a germ typically found in ground beef, but the bacteria is killed when the meat is thoroughly cooked. It is also found in raw milk.
People can be infected by eating or drinking something that contains these germs and is not properly cooked or pasteurized, according to the health department. The germs can be spread from person to person if someone who is infected does not thoroughly wash his or her hands with soap and water before preparing food for others.
Owen Carrignan died last Saturday, and the cause of death was listed as hemolytic uremic syndrome, an acute form of kidney failure often linked to a gastrointestinal infection caused by E. coli bacteria.
The most common symptoms of an E. coli infection are severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. Carrignan’s family said that the boy had a stomach ache and that the symptoms became continuously worse before he died.
The health department said no other cases have been reported and that its investigation continues.Kay Lazar can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @GlobeKayLazar.