The Brazos County Health Department and the Texas Department of State Health Services are investigating five cases of a possible fatal strain of E. coli found in Brazos County residents.
The health department confirms that two children, both of whom are related, are in the hospital. Sources tell us that they are in fair condition at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Two brothers from College Station are now fighting for their young lives after contracting E. coli.
Noah Melton and 4-year-old Jack Melton were transported from a hospital in College Station to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. They have since received dialysis, blood transfusions and around- the-clock care.
The hospital confirms that both brothers have been upgraded from critical to fair condition.
Three local adults have also been confirmed to have E. coli. All cases have been confirmed within the last week by the health department, the most recent coming Monday.
Three additional local cases are also under investigation, but have yet to be confirmed.
All five confirmed cases, according to the health department, have the 0157:H7 strain. The health department says it can cause kidney failure and possibly death.
The sources of the E. coli have not been confirmed. Investigators say the potential causes could be anything from contaminated water to beef to vegetables.
"It would be great if we could say this is it. They ate here, they got sick here, easy to fix, done,” said Dr. Eric Wilke with the Brazos County Health Department. "With several cases, not all eating at the same place, that makes it a little more challenging to figure out.”
Symptoms include bloody diarrhea and vomiting.
"If you look at everyone that might have this, there's most of the people don't get kidney complications, they just get a bad case of diarrhea,” said Dr. Wilke.
The best advice from doctors is to make sure you wash your vegetables especially wash your hands after processing raw foods.
The state health department has taken the lead on the investigation and is following up on several leads.
A Wednesday morning press conference at the Brazos County Health Department provided no additional information regarding the situation.
Click here for more info on E. coli, including symptoms.
The family has set up a Facebook page to provide updates about the boys.