Toddler Hospitalized After Testing Positive for E. Coli Following Swim in Lake

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A family member of a 3-year-old boy who was hospitalized with E. coli after swimming in a popular Northern California lake has spoken out about the family’s ordeal.

The Nevada County Public Health Department says five children have gotten sick — three of them testing positive for E. coli.

All of them had reportedly been swimming at Lake Wildwood beach near Grass Valley in Nevada County.

“He started coming down with symptoms earlier this week, around Monday or Tuesday. Real upset stomach, digestive issues, blood in his stool,” Sara Dunn, the toddler’s aunt said.

The family does not want to release the child’s name, but Dunn says her sister — the boy’s mother — took him to the lake last week where they went swimming near the clubhouse, which is where Nevada County public health officials believe the boy and four others were possibly exposed to E. Coli.

He “was taken to Sierra Nevada Tuesday, admitted to ICU shortly afterwards. And was admitted to UC Davis yesterday because he tested positive for E. coli and it’s now affecting his kidneys,” Dunn said.

Dunn says that her nephew knows at least one of the other sick boys, and she also believes some adults are also being treated.

They are friends, know each other. So, they very well might have been there the same day. But, yeah, the mother’s also pregnant, who is also affected, and her son,” Dunn said.

The beach has been closed down after water tested there had high levels of fecal coliforms, bacteria that can cause serious illness. There are wastewater treatment plants near the lake, however, the county public works department said it didn’t find any leaks and the system appears to be working normally.

Dunn feels like more could have been done to prevent people from getting ill.

“Alert residents, posting more signs on beaches, maybe caution don’t swim,” she said.

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