HOUSTON -- Two brothers from College Station are now fighting for their young lives after contracting E. coli.
The 18-month-old and 4-year-old boys are two of five confirmed cases in Brazos County. The county is also investigating three more possible cases of the potentially fatal strand.
Eighteen-month-old Noah Melton and 4-year-old Jack Melton were transported from a hospital in College Station to Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. They have since received dialysis, blood transfusions and around- the-clock care.
The hospital confirms that both brothers have been upgraded from critical to fair condition.
Their father said he is concerned about long-term damage, but feels blessed by how far his boys have come.
The Brazos County Health Department says the Melton brothers and three other confirmed cases have the 0157:H7 strand. Health experts say that can cause kidney failure and possibly death.
The Texas State Health Department has now taken the lead in the investigation. The state says it is following up on several leads, but cannot say for sure if the E-Coli came from food, water or something else.
“Anytime there’s an outbreak, it’s incredibly crucial to find out if there’s a particular source where it’s coming from so that source can be stopped,” said Dr. Jeffrey Starke, Director of Infection Control at Texas Children’s Hospital.
Dr. Jeffrey Starke says it’s important to know the symptoms and see a doctor before taking antibiotics.
“The things to watch out for is if the diarrhea lasts for more than a day or two, if they start to have blood in the diarrhea, if their behavior starts to change, and they start to become more agitated or more sleepy,” added Dr. Starke.
The father of Noah and Jack Melton says his wife, who is nine months pregnant, is by their children’s bed sides at the hospital. He says his family has received an overwhelming amount of support and prayers from the community.
The family has set up a Facebook page to provide updates about the boys.