BOISE, Idaho – State health officials have confirmed that the death of a 2-year-old Chubbuck boy was caused by tainted spinach.
Test results released Thursday afternoon show that Kyle Allgood was infected with the same E. coli strain found in fresh spinach in Utah and New Mexico, Idaho Department of Health and Welfare spokesman Ross Mason said. The strain is connected to an E. coli outbreak that has infected 192 people from 26 states and that killed an elderly woman in Wisconsin. Allgood is the second confirmed death from the outbreak.
"This confirms what we suspected for quite some time," Mason said. "Confirming that, though, was important information and will help us in the future if we have similar situations."
Allgood, who would have turned 3 in December, died Sept. 20 at Primary Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. He had developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic-uremic syndrome, caused by E. coli, but health officials had to wait for the results of genetic testing on the E. coli to determine whether his illness was from fresh spinach.
The test took time because the sample taken from the boy was fairly small, Idaho Health and Welfare Department spokesman Tom Shanahan said, and so technicians had to let the sample grow for several days at the Idaho State Laboratory before they had enough E. coli to perform the genetic test.