Health official: We may never know how they got E. coli

No known E. coli threat to Lincoln City area, official says

Serena Profitt died after being diagnosed with E. coli, Sept. 8, 2014. She was 4. (Courtesy: Pastor Brian Robbins)
Serena Profitt died after being diagnosed with E. coli, Sept. 8, 2014. She was 4. (Courtesy: Pastor Brian Robbins)

NEWPORT, Ore. (KOIN 6) — The source of the E. coli strain that killed a 4-year-old girl in Lincoln County and has a 5-year-old child fighting for his life may never be known, health officials said at a news conference Thursday.

Dr. David Long with the Lincoln County Health Department, Sept. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
Dr. David Long with the Lincoln County Health Department, Sept. 11, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

County and state health officials have tested several possible contaminants, Lincoln County health officer Dr. David Long said from the podium, but have not yet received any lab results.

“We’ve investigated the places that the people have been in the public and so far we haven’t found any evidence that there’s a source that would be potentially dangerous to the public,” said Long said at the news conference.

Long did say the restaurant the two ate at in the Lincoln City area has shown no evidence of exposure despite the strain’s tie to food.

Long also calmed fears, saying Thursday he saw no immediate danger to the public.

Serena Profitt died Monday at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. The family lives in Otis, Oregon, about a mile outside Lincoln City. They visited with their friends, the Sutton family, over Labor Day.

Brad Sutton, 5, was in critical condition with kidney failure, though KOIN 6 News was told he is steadily improving. Marce Edwards, spokeswoman for Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital in Tacoma, says Brad Sutton is doing much better and was upgraded to serious condition, the Associated Press said.

Both Serena and Brad tested positive for E. coli 0157.

A 3-year-old girl from northwest Washington died from E. coli last week in an unrelated case.

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