Two girls who attend Carmel Creek School have been sickened with E.coli infection, the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency reported today.
The girls, ages 7 and 9, have been hospitalized and are expected to recover, according to the HHSA.
Health officials have not determined the source of the E.coli, but officials at Carmel Creek notified parents on Wednesday as a precaution, according to Principal Terri Davis.
"The school has not been named as the source, but we appreciate their cooperation during this investigation,'' said Dr. Wilma Wooten, the county's public health officer. "We emphasize to the public that it is critical to practice appropriate food safety habits and good hand hygiene to prevent infectious diseases like E.coli from spreading."
Davis said that the situation at the school was calm Thursday morning with school parents being "incredible" and keeping themselves informed.
"We weren't the source, we know that," said Davis. "It isn't in any way a reflection of our school's cleanliness or our food program. We always work really hard to make sure everything that we do is good for kids and safe for kids."
E.coli can come from a number of sources, including lettuce, raw milk, unpasteurized apple cider, undercooked hamburger or from petting zoos and animal exhibits, county health officials said.
E.coli infection often causes abdominal cramps and bloody diarrhea. There is usually little or no fever, and the illness typically resolves itself in five to 10 days. But a small percentage of those infected may develop a condition in which red blood cells are destroyed and kidney failure may occur.
Those most at risk for food-borne illnesses include young children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems.
For more information on E. coli contact the County of San Diego Health and Human Services at (619) 515-6620.