Published: Mon, July 01, 2019
Life&Culture | By Sue Mclaughlin

Boy dies due to E. Coli linked to San Diego County Fair

Boy dies due to E. Coli linked to San Diego County Fair

The San Diego County Fair announced that a 2-year-old boy died after contracting E. Coli linked to contact with the animals there.

Three other children who visited the fair also contracted E. coli, possibly from livestock or petting zoo animals, county officials said in a release posted to Twitter.

While officials are still investigating the bacteria's source, all the children who were sickened reported having contact with animals at the fair. And my grandchild is a little older than a year-and-a-half.

Four children were sickened by E. coli after visiting the petting zoo at the San Diego County Fair in mid-June. The children were infected with E.coli; they ranged in age from 2 to 13. "While most people recover from this illness without complications, 5 to 10 percent of people diagnosed with STEC develop the life-threatening kidney infection".

The boy had been hospitalized and died from complications.

The county asked anyone who had symptoms on or after June 8 to report it to their health care provider.

"We have taken this step to restrict access to animals at the fair in an abundance of caution", said Dr. Eric McDonald, medical director of the county public health department's epidemiology and immunization services branch, according to the publication.

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"We hope that people will come out to the fair and see all that we have to offer", said Katie Mueller, the fair's deputy general manager, according to CBS affiliate KFMB.

Symptoms of E.coli include severe abdominal cramps, watery or bloody diarrhea, and vomiting, and often occur three to four days after exposure, though can start between 1 and 10 days after exposure.

At a news conference late Friday night, Del Mar Fairgrounds CEO Tim Fennell said fair officials were "heartbroken" and "devastated" by the boy's death, which he said they only learned of Friday night.

Health officials repeatedly advised that you always wash your hands after contact with animals.

He later told reporters, "No contamination has to do with food service or food at all".

"Most people with a STEC infection start feeling sick 3 to 4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria".

Health officials said good hand-washing is the most important step in preventing E. coli-related illnesses.

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