April 19, 2024

No Answers To Deadly San Diego E. coli Outbreak at County Fair

The San Diego Health & Human Services Agency has released a report stating that they were not able to find answers to the deadly San Diego E. coli outbreak that sickened people who visited the county fair in June 2019. The outbreak was first reported on June 28, 2019, with four pediatric cases of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections.

No Answers To Deadly San Diego E. coli Outbreak at County Fair

As of July 31, 2019, there are 11 confirmed cases and 2 probable cases in this outbreak. Three people were hospitalized because they were so sick, and one child has died. The outbreak was caused by a specific strain of E. coli O157:H7.

After the outbreak, visits to the animal exhibits at the fair were restricted. The San Diego County Department of Environmental Health inspectors conducted investigations at the food booths that were visited by the ill persons. They found no commonalities between food items and food booths.

The report states “Any major violations observed were addressed at the time of the site visit and fixed. Re-inspections were conducted to ensure those violations remained fixed. Inspectors also conducted site visits at non-foodborne illness reported booths to conduct focused inspections on sanitizing procedures for consumer counters and self-service condiment containers, handwashing procedures, handwashing supplies and hot water.”

Lawyer Fred Pritzker

You can call attorney Fred Pritzker for help at 1-888-377-8900.

Lawyer Fred Pritzker, who has represented patients who have been sickened after visiting petting zoos and agricultural tourism venues, said, “Because these animals can harbor and shed E. coli bacteria without any visible signs of illness, parents should be cautioned about the possible risks of taking children to fairs and petting zoos. The result for some of these cases is tragic.”

All of the patients who were sickened in this outbreak did say they visited the animal areas, which included a petting zoo, or had other contact with animals at the fair. Animal and environmental testing conducted to date by the county and the sate has found no STEC O157:H7 bacteria. Investigators ┬átested all the petting zoo animals, all pony ride horses, and two cattle from the livestock barn that were at the fair throughout the possible timeline. And 32 environmental samples from the petting zoo and livestock barn showed “no signs of STEC bacteria.”

The report states that a specific source may not be found, but the potential sources of this outbreak remain under investigation. The fair closed on July 4, 2019.

Symptoms of an E. coli infection include a mild fever if one is present, severe and painful abdominal cramps, and watery and bloody diarrhea. If you or a family member visited the San Diego County Fair in June 2019 and have been ill with these symptoms, see your doctor. You may be part of this San Diego E. coli outbreak.

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