The state Department of Public Health is investigating 15 confirmed cases of E. coli, including 14 that they said they have linked to a goat farm in Lebanon.
The Department of Health brought in the Centers for Disease Control to investigate the outbreak that state officials said is linked to Oak Leaf Dairy Farm.
The Department of Health and other agencies began to investigate Oak Leaf Dairy Farm after seven people contracted E. coli and investigators have linked 14 of the 15 cases to Oak Leaf Farm, including six children who visited the farm and petted the goats.
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The people who have gotten sick are between 1 and 44 years old and two have been diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, which attacks the body's kidneys and is associated with the E. coli infection.
Mark Reynolds, the farm's owner, recently said the outbreak has already started affecting his wholesale business and he had never had E. coli linked to his farm before.
On Monday, officials from DPH, the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, the Uncas Health District and the CDC team are at the Oak Leaf Farm for an onsite investigation. The farm has voluntarily closed to the public and the owners are cooperating with the investigation, according to DPH.
“We received numerous phone calls and emails over the last several days from people who visited Oak Leaf Farm in March. Those calls, both from individuals who may have been sickened and from individuals who’ve had no symptoms, are highly valuable to our ongoing investigation,” DPH Commissioner Raul Pino said in a statement. “I continue to encourage anyone who visited the farm in March and developed symptoms of this illness to contact their physician. Additionally, I ask anyone who visited the farm in March to email or call DPH to let us know when you visited and if you or your family members have experienced any symptoms of E.coli.”
The DPH is asking anyone who visited Oak Leaf Dairy to contact them.
The state Department of Agriculture is asking anyone who bought a goat from Oak Leaf Farm in the past month and has any concerns to contact their livestock veterinarian.
State officials said the number of cases could increase because they are identifying people who were not originally reported.