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Pelican Rapids woman dies of rare E. Coli infection that killed her daughter 4 years ago

Karen Odens died on Saturday, July 14.

A Minnesota family is in mourning once again after the tragic death of a woman from an illness linked to the E. Coli that killed her daughter four years ago.

Karen Odens (nee Welke), 39, of Pelican Rapids, died last Saturday, July 14 after a battle with illness over the last four years.

WDAY reports that she had been hospitalized 30 times in that period, starting when her 4-year-old daughter, Sophia, contracted a rare form of E. Coli, which she ultimately died from a day after her 4th birthday.

Around the time Sophia died, Odens became ill and required repeated trips to the hospital with kidney and blood pressure issues.

It's believed to have been the E. Coli her daughter had, according to a YouCaring page set up in 2014, though it was never determined how they contracted it.

According to her obituary, Odens was a former student of Detroit Lakes Senior High School, which she graduated in 1997, before marrying her husband Eric 10 years later.

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She earned a doctorate in pharmacy from North Dakota State University and was a pharmacist for more than 10 years at Pelican Drug before taking a leave of absence due to her health problems.

Her other interests are listed as gardening, spending time with family and friends, fishing, and "helping other people."

She is survived by her husband and her son, Oliver, as well as her parents and sister.

E. Coli infections can be contracted by eating undercooked meat, contaminated produce, drinking unpasteurized milk, swimming in or drinking contaminated water, contact with infected animals, or having contact with someone who has poor hygiene and doesn't wash their hands regularly, Healthline notes.

Not all strains of it are contagious, but those that are can pass from person-to-person.

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