11 confirmed cases of E.coli in Arizona-Utah border outbreak

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department has confirmed 11 cases of E.coli along the northern Utah-Arizona border.

HILDALE, Utah -- Authorities have confirmed 11 cases of E.coli in an outbreak along the Arizona-Utah border.

Two children died recently in the outbreak in an area known as the Arizona strip.  

The Southwest Utah Public Health Department confirmed it is investigating the cases. In an update Tuesday morning, the SUPHD advised residents of Hilldale, Utah and nearby areas not to drink raw milk or eat previously purchased ground beef until they give the go-ahead.

E.coli is a bacterium commonly found in the intestines, but some types can cause serious food poisoning and even death in humans.

Donia Jessop, who is running for mayor of Hildale, lives next door to one of the victims. She said last week that the health department tested city water. The tests came back clean and safe to drink.

"People need to use hand sanitizer if clean water isn't available and people serving food plan to wear rubber gloves," Jessop said.

Jessop said the two children who died were just 3 and 6 years old.

 "We appreciate the health department working overtime on this investigation. We don't want to lose any more people to E.coli," Jessop said.

According to Jessop, three homes are suspect -- two in Hildale and one in Colorado City. Jessop said those homes have been thoroughly scrubbed and sanitized to minimize the chance of contamination from them.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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