June 24, 2022

E. coli Sickens Five Children Who Attended the Georgia National Fair

E. coli has sickened five children who attended the Georgia National Fair, according to news reports. Three of the five children are hospitalized, according to Michael Hokanson of the Georgia Department of Public Health, who spoke to WMAZ. Hokanson added that the case count may increase as more lab results come in. And according to that article, Ginny Crouse is the mother of two of the children who are ill: Zoe, age one, and Campbell, three. And Stacey Wooddell's daughter Skyler also tested positive. Some of the children may have hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a type of kidney failure, although that complication has not been officially disclosed. The children are recovering. Officials still do not know what caused these illnesses. Hundreds of people who attended the Georgia … [Read more...]

Georgia National Fair E. coli Outbreak Sickens at Least Four

An E. coli outbreak believed to be linked to the Georgia National Fair has sickened at least four children, according to the Georgia Department of Public Health and the North Central Health District. All of the children attended the Georgia National Fair that took place in Perry, Georgia, on October 7 to October 17, 2021. Public health officials are working with the Georgia National Fairgrounds and Agricenter to investigate these cases. All four confirmed cases are in children who live in Georgia. Three of those children have been hospitalized. One case has been confirmed as E. coli O157:H7, which is one of a number of particularly dangerous types of bacteria known as Shiga Toxin Producing E. coli (STEC). The Shiga Toxin produced by STEC E. coli can seriously damage kidneys and other … [Read more...]

It’s Petting Zoo Time! Do You Know How to Protect Your Kids?

With county and state fairs occurring around the country, especially after many closed last year because of COVID-19, parents need to know about petting zoos and the danger they can present. Since it's petting zoo time, do you know how to protect your kids? Children love small animals, and petting zoos are magnets to many of them. Many state fairs and county fairs offer these attractions. Unfortunately, these animals can harbor pathogenic bacteria that can make kids very sick. The most dangerous is E. coli bacteria, which occur naturally in the guts of ruminant animals such as cows, goats, and sheep. The animals themselves do not get sick, but they shed the bacteria in their feces, where it can contaminate the animals themselves and their environment. The CDC states that from … [Read more...]

It’s State Fair Time! Watch Out for E. Coli …

It's state fair time! State fairs around the country are in full swing. Some have ended, and some have yet to begin. These gatherings are celebrations of the harvest and of the hard work of farmers. But in the past, these fairs and other late summer and early fall gatherings have been the source of dangerous E. coli outbreaks. This year, an E. coli O157 outbreak at the Minnesota State Fair has sickened 11 people, hospitalizing six. One person has developed HUS. Most of the patients visited the Miracle of Birth exhibit, and had contact with ruminant animals. Earlier this year, a deadly E. coli outbreak at the San Diego County Fair sickened 10 people. Three people were hospitalized and one 2-year-old died. In 2014, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the traveling Zerebko Zoo … [Read more...]

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. 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 … [Read more...]

Two More Probable E. coli Cases Linked to San Diego County Fair

Two more probable E. coli cases have been linked to the San Diego County Fair, bringing the total of sick children to seven, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services. Those seven cases include four confirmed and three probable. A two-year-old boy sadly died on June 24, 2019 after visiting the fair. All of the children had visited animal exhibits at the fair before they got sick. The two new cases are a 2-year-old who was at the fair on June 22, 2019, got sick on June 26, and was not hospitalized, and a 4-year-old who visited the fair on June 21, got sick on June 29, and is currently hospitalized. Dr. Dean Sidelinger, interim deputy county public health officer, said in a statement, "The investigation is ongoing, and even though the fair is over, there are … [Read more...]

Officials Say There May Be Another E. coli Case at San Diego County Fair

A new, unconfirmed case of Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) illness that may be related to animals at the San Diego County Fair has been reported, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services. Lab results have confirmed a previously reported case. The new case is a 6-year-old boy who attended animal displays at the fair in June 2019 and started showing symptoms of the infection on June 26, 2019. He was not hospitalized and is recovering. There have been a total of five cases linked to contact with animals at the fair. Four are confirmed by lab tests and one is a probable case. Dr. Wilma Wooten, M.P.H., County public health officer said in a statement, "As we continue our investigation, more cases are likely to be reported. This is typical of any public … [Read more...]

E. coli Outbreak: One Little Child Dies, Three Sickened at San Diego County Fair

One 2-year-old boy has died, and three other children from 2 to 13 years of age have been sickened with E. coli infections after they visited the San Diego County Fair, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.  The infections are apparently linked to contact with animals at that venue. Unfortunately, this is not the first time this has happened. Shiga toxin E. coli (STEC) outbreaks linked to county fairs and petting zoos have occurred several times in the past few years. An outbreak at the Oxford County Fair in Maine in 2015 sickened two small boys; one of them died. An E. coli outbreak at the Milk Makers Fest in Whatcom County, Washington in 2015 sickened 36 children with E. coli infections. And in 2014, an E. coli outbreak sickened 13 people in … [Read more...]

Utah STEC Outbreak Investigated; Petting Zoos and Farms Studied

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an increase in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections (STEC) in that state, according to the Utah Department of Health. The source of this Utah STEC outbreak has not been identified, but some patients said they visited farms, corn mazes, and petting zoos before they got sick. This is nothing new. In the past few years, there have been several E. coli outbreaks linked to those types of attractions. Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker warned the public years ago about the potential danger at agricultural tourism venues. Ruminant animals, such as goats and cows, carry E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria in their intestines, and those animals do not get sick. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces, which can then contaminate … [Read more...]

Fall Food Safety Tips From Public Health Officials

Fall is here, but even though the temperatures are cooler, food safety is still an issue. If you are participating in specific fall activities, follow the government's fall food safety tips to keep your family safe. People like to go apple picking, tailgate at football games, and go hiking and camping in the fall. The first step in preparing foods for these activities and in general is to make sure your hands are clean. Poor hand hygiene can cross-contaminate surfaces in your kitchen, such as refrigerator handles and countertops, with pathogenic bacteria. Wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water and dry with a clean towel. Raw meat and poultry are the most problematic foods. Make sure to use separate plates, utensils, and cutting boards when you work with these foods. … [Read more...]

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