November 20, 2019

E. coli Illnesses Associated with Grant’s Farm in St. Louis, Missouri

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is investigating five E. coli cases in people who have visited Grant’s Farm, located in St. Louis, since May 2019. This investigation is ongoing and is focused on determining what may have led to the illnesses.

E. coli Illnesses Associated with Grant's Farm in St. Louis, Missouri

Those five people are sick with Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections (STEC). There is no word on whether any of the patients have been hospitalized, or if any have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a compilation of a STEC infection that can cause kidney failure. This complication is more common in children under the age of five. The press release also did not state the ages of the patients.

Preliminary recommendations to Grant’s Farm include reminders of the importance of handwashing after direct contact with animals. Ruminant animals such as goats and cows can carry E. coli bacteria in their guts. The animals do not get sick and usually appear healthy. When the animals poop, the bacteria are released and can contaminate the hide of the animals, as well as the environment such as bedding, railings, and gates.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

Attorney Fred Pritzker has represented people who have been sickened with E. coli infections after contact with animals. He can be reached at 1-888-377-8900.

Any visitors to the farm should follow the guidance of posted signs and use hand sinks and/or hand sanitizer after touching the animals or the animal habitats. Always wash your hands thoroughly before eating or drinking after you visit any type of animal exhibit.

The symptoms of an E. coli infection include a mild fever, serious and painful abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is bloody and watery. These symptoms start a few days up to a week after a person has been exposed to the pathogen. Most people who contract this infection do see a doctor because they are so sick.

The symptoms of hemolytic uremic syndrome include little urine output, lethargy, pale skin, easy bruising, and bleeding from the nose or mouth. This complication usually requires hospitalization.┬áIf you or someone you know has visited Grant’s Farm and has been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor.

There have been several E. coli outbreaks linked to state fairs, farms, and petting zoos in the past, including an outbreak five years ago that was linked to a traveling petting zoo.

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