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Litchfield farm linked with outbreak of diarrhea in school groups

LITCHFIELD -- A farm near Litchfield that's popular with school groups is being linked with multiple cases of diarrhea. In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health said it is investigating an outbreak of diarrheal...

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An outbreak of diarrheal illness associated with visiting the Nelson Farm in Litchfield is being investigated by the Minnesota Department of Health. More than 10 cases of diarrheal illness from five different schools have been reported. (TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO)

LITCHFIELD -- A farm near Litchfield that’s popular with school groups is being linked with multiple cases of diarrhea.

In a statement issued Thursday afternoon, the Minnesota Department of Health said it is investigating an outbreak of diarrheal illness associated with visiting the Nelson Farm in Litchfield.

Over 10 cases of diarrheal illness from five different schools have been reported, including three cases of laboratory-confirmed cryptosporidium infection.

All cases reported visiting the Nelson Farm as part of school-sponsored trips starting on May 9.

However, numerous school groups have visited the farm through May 25, so there could be many more individuals who are currently ill or incubating illness, according to the Department of Health.

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People are asked to report cases of diarrheal illness who have visited Nelson's Farm to the Minnesota Department of Health at 1-877-676-5414 (toll-free) or 651-201-5414.

Outbreaks associated with farm animal contact may include multiple pathogens including salmonella, campylobacter, shiga-toxin producing E. coli (STEC) and cryptosporidium.

Symptoms and incubation periods vary between pathogens, but most patients present with diarrhea and abdominal pain that last longer than three days.

Patients with salmonella infection generally present with diarrhea and fever that occur 12 to 72 hours after exposure, but can begin up to a week after exposure.

Patients with campylobacter infections generally present with diarrhea and fever 2 to 5 days following exposure.

Patients with STEC infections generally present with severe bloody diarrhea or non-bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain, but little to no fever 1 to 8 days (usually 2 to 5 days) following exposure.

Patients with cryptosporidium infections present with watery diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps 2 to 14 days following exposure and symptoms may be intermittent.

Related Topics: LITCHFIELDHEALTH
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