ROCKFORD — The Winnebago County Health Department has identified the tattoo parlor they say is responsible for at least 12 infections related to ear piercings, 6 of whom were hospitalized. They have also found another 4 additional cases they feel are likely related.
They say that ‘Euro 2 Tatoo’ at 5920 E. State Street is being investigated as the source of the infections, all of which were Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterial infections from piercings of the upper ear. They said on Monday an inspection was conducted of the tattoo shop on July 15th, and that “The owner has voluntarily suspended all piercing operations at the shop. The owners and staff have been cooperative in this investigation.”
The Health Department initially declined to identify the business, citing internal policy, but did release the information in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. Cases range in age from 13 to 49; all had ears pierced between 3/28/13 and 7/9/2013, and live in Winnebago, Boone, Ogle, Dekalb, and Stephenson Counties.
They tell ‘Eyewitness News’ they are unsure exactly how so many people became infected, and are waiting on lab tests while the investigation continues.
Because this is an on-going investigation, health officials suspect there may be more cases out there. They ask anyone who is experiencing redness, swelling or pain following a piercing, especially of the upper ear, to seek medical attention and contact their local Health Department. The Winnebago County Health Department is at (815) 720-4050. People living in Boone County may contact the Boone County Health Department at 815-544-2951. People living in Ogle County may contact Ogle County Health Department at 815-732-7330. Individuals living in Stephenson County may contact the Stephenson County Health Department at (815) 599-8429. People in Dekalb County may contact the Dekalb County Health Department at 815-748-2463.
For more information, go to www.wchd.org.
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