Home » Girl (7) fights for her life after eating contaminated piece of cheese

Girl (7) fights for her life after eating contaminated piece of cheese

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Two months ago, the French government website Rappel Conso warned of the danger of possible E. coli contamination in various cheeses. But despite that warning, the cheeses still claimed a victim.

7-year-old Élise from Saint-Étienne-des-Oullières ate a piece of morbier cheese on December 23. A few days later, on Christmas Eve, the girl started complaining of stomach pains. She was given painkillers, but her parents decided to go to the hospital anyway. There they were told that it was most likely gastroenteritis, or stomach flu.

But the girl’s condition deteriorated rapidly. According to her parents, she didn’t even have the strength to open her Christmas presents.

Two days later, the diagnosis of gastroenteritis was excluded. After a suspicion of peritonitis associated with appendicitis, the E.coli bacteria was eventually discovered in the girl’s feces.

“The Regional Health Agency, which questioned us about our child’s diet over the past two weeks, was finally able to determine the cause of the contamination. What we remember most is a raw milk cheese that was eaten at her sister’s birthday party in mid-December and a hamburger that was perhaps not cooked properly,” her father Yohan Buisson tells ActuLyon. “We were able to test the leftover cheese in the refrigerator and it ultimately tested positive for E.coli.”

Once again, Élise’s condition deteriorated. The girl suffered convulsions and was placed in a coma and intubated. Her kidneys had also failed and her life was in danger.

“She was fighting for her life,” her father Yohan Buisson said in an interview with BFMTV. “We woke her up on December 31 because the tests were quite positive, but her kidney function had still not recovered. In fact, the chance that she will regain her kidney function is becoming increasingly smaller.”

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By early February, there were “some improvements in her health status.” But the girl is still in the hospital. Her kidneys are said to be too badly damaged and she may need a transplant to survive.

The girl could possibly leave the hospital in ten days, but she will need kidney dialysis and close monitoring by doctors.

Her father is now also considering taking legal action. “I am angry. Is there enough supervision? Are the rules strict enough? Where are the errors? At the level of the cheese maker, the supermarket…?”

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