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Maquoketa 18-month-old recovering from E. coli infection

The child is hospitalized in Iowa City
Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 12:11 AM CDT
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MAQUOKETA, Iowa (KWQC) - A Maquoketa 18-month-old is recovering from an E. coli infection at an Iowa City hospital.

The Jackson County Health Dept. is monitoring cases throughout the county and working with the Iowa Dept. of Public Health to investigate. Multiple children were hospitalized because of infections.

18-month-old Briella has spent several weeks in the hospital after becoming ill.

“We didn’t know what was going to happen and just taking it day by day,” her mother Maggie Ward said.

It started when Maggie picked her daughter up from daycare about three weeks ago. She was told Briella wasn’t eating and had diarrhea, which continued throughout the night.

“So I took her to our local ER that morning. They basically said it was a virus. It’ll run its course,” Maggie said.

They then took Briella back home where she spent the majority of the day sleeping.

“The entire day I’d say she was maybe up for 40 minutes,” Caleb Davis, Briella’s father, said.

When she was awake, the diarrhea continued. Her parents then took her to another hospital in Dubuque where more tests were run, but with no improvement.

“They transferred us here to the University of Iowa,” Maggie said.

Maggie said almost immediately doctors knew Briella had developed Hemolytic uremic syndrome from E. coli, which is a form of kidney failure.

“She had her catheter placed that Wednesday. And she started dialysis that Wednesday night,” she said.

After several long, stressful days and nights, Briella started recovering and now doctors hope she can return home Thursday for her big brother’s birthday.

“We’re hoping to surprise him. He misses his sister a lot. That would be a great birthday present for him,” Maggie said.

“He loves her. He’s a heck of a good big brother to her,” Caleb said, “Everybody who’s been praying and all the positive thoughts definitely helped both of us.

TV6 has reached out to the state health department multiple times over the last few days but have not heard back. A cause of the E. coli infections has not been confirmed.

Health officials recommend anyone who feels sick at work or school to stay home for one to two days after symptoms end.

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