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Search for source of illness in Monett inconclusive: Even E. coli sources can’t be traced as incidents drop off

Murray Bishop of The Monnett Times reports that the investigation into the foodborne bacterial outbreak in Monnett has come to an end without yielding any definitive results.

In all, 77 students were reported to have gotten sick, 49 household members, and 12 school staff members. Tests on stool samples confirmed two cases of infection with the E. coli bacteria, and six with the campylobacter bacteria.

Initially tests concentrated on common shared sources, such as the city’s water supply and the school cafeteria. Tests were run on possible sources of the dangerous bacteria, and none turned up.

“The investigation is still ongoing," says Robert Niezgoda, the regional epidemiology specialist for the Missouri Department of Health. "Unless we get more evidence, there’s no way to determine what the source is."

The outbreak started at the last week of school, and has dropped off since then.

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