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State investigates possible food-bourne illness as cause of 6-year-old boy’s death

State public health officials are investigating the weekend death of a 6-year-old Millbury boy as a possible case of food poisoning.

“The symptoms reported may be indicative of a food-borne illness, and is currently under epidemiologic investigation,” according to an e-mail Wednesday evening from Anne Roach, spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

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The death certificate for the boy lists his name as Owen Carrignan. He died around 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the ­UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, according to Derek Brindisi, director of Worcester’s public health department.

Brindisi said the cause of death was listed as hemolytic-uremic syndrome, an acute form of kidney failure often linked to a gastrointestinal infection caused by E. coli bacteria. A secondary cause of death was respiratory failure.

A clerk with the public health department in Millbury referred questions about the case to the staff nurse. She did not return a phone call left Wednesday afternoon.

Patricia Wen can be reached at
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