E.Coli Hits Minnesota County Fairs

 

According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the Minnesota Department of Health has confirmed 13 cases of E. coli related to four Minnesota events. These include seven cases associated with the Rice County Fair and three associated with the Olmstead County Fair. All of the infections have the same DNA fingerprint, and have been caused by the O157:H7 strain of E. coli bacteria. The Department of Health has traced the source of these infections to the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo, which was present at all four of the events.

 

The infections have resulted in seven hospitalizations, and two cases of the severe complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney damage.

 

E.coli O157:H7 is typically found in ruminant animals such as cattle, goats, and sheep. Even healthy animals can carry the bacteria, and it can be spread by people touching the animals or contaminated surfaces.

 

It is critical for people to take precautions when they are either near or in contact with animals, by washing their hands with soap and water. While hand sanitizers can provide some protection from the bacteria, it is not a substitute for soap and water.

 

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