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E. Coli concern cited by Newton-Wellesley Hospital; Wellesley Health Dept., dismisses supermarket link

Newton-Wellesley Hospital‘s Chief of Infectious Diseases has put colleagues on alert that a cluster of three patients have been treated recently for hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a disease with ugly symptoms and that is associated with colitis caused by E. coli. All three cases have occurred in middle-aged females, including two Wellesley residents, and all were in the hospital as of mid-week. HUS is more commonly associated with kids, though it really depends on what sort of food it comes from.

State epidemiologists have been contacted by NWH, but they weren’t aware of any recent outbreaks of E. coli infection or HUS in Massachusetts, according to the NWH doctor.

The hospital says it does not know the source of bacteria resulting in the local cases (spinach is one possible culprit, sources say) and that such information would come from the state’s department of public health. 

If concerned about your risk, you’re advised to check out this information.

The Wellesley Health Department (WHD) issued the following statement on Thursday:

The WHD received notice by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s (MDPH) surveillance system on June 12 of a case of E-Coli in a Wellesley resident. The public health nurse at WHD promptly began an investigation. This investigation has expanded to include MDPH as well as WHD staff. It has been brought to the WHD’s attention that additional cases of E-Coli will be included in the current investigation. The origin of the cases’ illness is being investigated.  Rumors have been circulating that the cause of the illnesses has been linked to a local supermarket. At this point, no local supermarkets are a focus of the investigation. WHD will provide updates as warranted.

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