California boy hospitalized for E. coli after swimming in lake

Nevada County, Calif (KTXL/CNN Newsource) – The aunt of a 3-year-old boy hospitalized for E.coli is speaking out. She says the boy tested positive for E. coli after swimming in a lake.

He’s a boy we’re told usually loves helicopters and airplanes.

But as you can see in a photo, his illness prevented him from enjoying his ride in a medical helicopter Saturday afternoon.

The boy’s aunt, Sara Dunn, said, “He started coming down with symptoms, earlier this week, around Monday or Tuesday. Real upset stomach, digestive issues, blood in his stool.”

The family does not want to release the name of the boy, but Dunn says her sister–the boy’s mother–took him to Lake Wildwood beach last week where they went swimming near the clubhouse.

A place the Nevada County Public Health Department now believes exposed him and four others to E. coli.

Dunn said, “Was taken to Sierra Nevada Tuesday, admitted to ICU shortly afterwards. And was transferred to UC Davis yesterday because he tested positive for E. coli and it’s now affecting his kidneys.”

The health department says 5 children because very ill and of those 3 have now tested positive for E. coli.

Dunn says her nephew knows at least one of the other sick boys… and she believes some adults are also being treated.

“They are friends, know each other,” Dunn said. “So they might have very well been there the same day. But yeah the mother’s pregnant who is also affected, and her son.”

The health department closed down the beach they were at after water tested there

had high levels of fecal coliforms, bacteria which can cause serious illness.

There are wastewater treatment plants near the lake, but the County Public Works Department says it found no leaks, and the system appears to be working normally.

Lake Wildwood is a gated community. When KTXL tried to speak with the administrative offices, a guard at the gate told us to check back tomorrow.

Dunn feels like both the homeowners association and the county could have done more to prevent this. “Alert residents, posting more signs on beaches, maybe caution don’t swim.”

KTXL didn’t see any swimmers at the lake, but many were boating and some were even fishing.

Meanwhile, Dunn hopes the community prays for her sister’s family.

“I can’t imagine the pain and stress. They’re holding up okay the best they can but it has been hard for all of us.”

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