State health officials say four of the seven reported Kansas cases of kidney failure caused by toxin-producing bacteria may be related. Four of the patients attended the same private gathering.
Kansas Department of Health and Environment spokeswoman Aimee Rosenow said she can’t release any details about what kind of event the four patients attended, where it was, or when it took place. However, the two patients from Sedgwick County and two from Harvey County all were there.
In one patient from each of those counties, genetic testing shows the E. coli bacteria that sickened them were identical. Investigators have not found any connection so far between these cases and the other three, which involve patients from Cowley and Nemaha counties.
All seven have been treated for hemolytic uremic syndrome. It’s a form of kidney failure sometimes associated with E. coli infection. The bacteria produce a toxin that causes red blood cells to break down. Those cell particles can then clog the kidneys. Citing patient privacy concerns, officials are not saying anything about the age, gender, or condition of the patients.