The Missouri State Public Health Lab confirmed an additional case of E. coli in Boone County Friday.
That brings the total number of E. coli cases in Boone County to four. The latest case is a child who did require hospitalization but has since been released. State Health Department spokesperson Gena Terlizzi says nearly half of the 15 cases of E. coli in central Missouri came from the same place.
“At this point, of the 15 confirmed cases of E. coli, seven of these individuals consumed raw milk from the same farm in Howard County.”
The owner of the Howard County farm has discontinued the sale of raw dairy products. Terlizzi says she has seen an increase in E. coli cases since the end of March. Geni Alexander, spokeswoman for the Columbia Department of Public Health and Human Services says by pasteurizing their milk, consumers take a lot of the risk away.
“You know there’s people out there who really want to buy their milk form a local dairy, and that’s fine. We’re not advising against that. We’re advising against consuming unpasteurized milk.”
Of the four cases in Boone County, two were children under the age of 18 and two required hospitalization. Alexander says there are a lot of ways people can protect themselves from E. coli including properly cooking meat to its right temperature, washing fruits and vegetables before consumption and washing your hands before handling raw meat.