TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Three more people have fallen ill from an E. coli (search) outbreak that can lead to a potentially deadly kidney disease, state health officials said Tuesday.
That brings to 17 the number of people infected by E. coli, or the kidney disease resulting from it, who also recently attended one of two central Florida festivals where authorities believe they contracted the illness.
Fourteen of the victims were children, the state Department of Health said Tuesday.
In addition to the 17 confirmed cases, authorities are also looking into 20 cases where they suspect infection but have not confirmed it.
Among the suspected victims was 12-year-old Kayla Sutter, who died suddenly last week. Her funeral was Tuesday.
Health officials urged Floridians who have come into contact with domestic or farm animals to wash their hands often and make sure their children do the same. They also reminded people not to eat undercooked meat.
The outbreak involves the bacterium E. coli O157:H7. About 8 percent of the people who are infected with that bacterium are later stricken with the kidney disease, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS.