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The Southwest Utah Public Health Department is investigating an E. coli outbreak in Hildale after the deaths of at least two children in the past couple of weeks.

The two children, both of Hildale, were at a hospital when they died, Deputy Marshal Daniel Musser said, but others in the town may have been exposed.

David Heaton, of the Southwest Utah Public Health Department, confirmed Saturday that his organization is investigating the outbreak, though the exact number of cases was not available.

"All the water testing we've done in Hildale has been clean," Heaton said, "so we're focusing all our efforts on contaminated food or exposure to animals."

At this point, he said, the department does not suspect the community at-large to be at risk.

"We are focusing on a contained area ... at one location," Heaton said. He declined to release details, including the address of the location in question, citing the ongoing investigation.

It has been a while since there's been an outbreak of E. coli bacteria in southern Utah, Heaton said, though there have been individual cases from time to time.

Symptoms of E. coli infections include severe stomach cramping, vomiting and diarrhea, which may be bloody. Anyone experiencing those symptoms should contact a medical provider.

Hildale and Colorado City, Ariz. — collectively known as Short Creek — have been home to members of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints for decades.

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