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Pasco third-grader’s death may be linked to E. coli

Here’s what you need to know about E. coli

Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Here are the basics on how E. coli outbreaks happen and how to identify symptoms.
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Escherichia coli (also known as E. coli) are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Here are the basics on how E. coli outbreaks happen and how to identify symptoms.

A Pasco elementary student has died from apparent complications of E. coli.

Ismael Baeza Soto, 9, died Feb. 11 at Sacred Heart Medical Center in Spokane, apparently of kidney failure brought about by E. coli.

The Benton-Franklin Health District is investigating the source of what sickened the boy. So far, it appears to be an isolated case that hasn’t been linked to other investigations, though future testing could change that.

“We have not identified any ongoing public health threats,” said Dr. Amy Person, the public health officer for the Mid-Columbia.

Most E. coli bacteria are harmless but potentially lethal strains can be spread through contaminated water or food, or through contact with animals or people, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

Ismael was a third-grade student at Captain Gray Elementary in Pasco. He was the son of Josefina Soto and Jesus Baeza.

The Pasco School District plans to assign a team of counselors to Captain Gray when school reopens after the snow days to support students and staff.

A GoFundMe campaign was started to help with his funeral expenses.

Hillcrest Bruce Lee Memorial Center is handling his arrangements.

Wendy Culverwell writes about local government and politics, focusing on how those decisions affect your life. She also covers key business and economic development changes that shape our community. Her restaurant column and health inspection reports are reader favorites. She’s been a news reporter in Washington and Oregon for 25 years.

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