Only 20 percent of the estimated 265,000 Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) cases annually in the United States involve outbreaks that the public hears about, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Two-year-old Landon Huston, currently at Children’s Medical Center Dallas, is one of the solo cases that comprise the other 80 percent of the nation’s potentially deadly E. coli infections. Media generally doesn’t cover such cases extensively and in many individual cases no one but the families and public health agencies are informed.
Landon is on life support after his Shiga toxin-producing E. coli brought on the life-threatening kidney ailment known as Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS. It destroys red blood cells, with the potential for complete kidney failure. Many victims require transplants.