STANFORD — While health officials continued to try to hunt down the source ofE. colipoisoning that made three Stanford Elementary School students sick last month, the school year ended on a hopeful note for the two most seriously ill kindergarteners.
“The kids both participated in their kindergarten graduation ceremony — via Skype — from the hospital, with caps and gowns and everything,” Eva Stone, health coordinator for Lincoln County schools, said Friday.
The school system has not released the names or much information about the sick students, citing health privacy laws. That the two students who have been hospitalized more than two weeks were able to electronically join their classmates for graduation indicates they are slowly making their way back toward good health, Stone said.
“It’s a long process for the body to recover from this,” Stone said, “but it’s a very encouraging sign they were able to participate in this.”
Health officials are still trying to pin down the source of the E. coli contamination that made three students — all members of the same kindergarten class — sick last month. Testing and investigation have determined that food served at the school is not to blame, but the origin of the bacteria remains very much a mystery.
“It might not ever be figured out,” Stone said.
It is now believed that one of the students came in contact with E. coli bacteria and then passed it on to the other two through person-to-person contact, rather than all three children being contaminated separately from a source, Stone said. E. coli poisoning most often comes from eating tainted food but also can be contracted through contact with an infected area or handling pets or farm animals.