E. Coli Outbreak Confirmed From State Fair

Officials have confirmed the recent E. coli outbreak did take place at the North Carolina State Fair. Investigators zeroed in on the building with the issues--the Kelley Building, a permanent structure that housed livestock for the fair.

“From the beginning of this investigation, we have been focused on finding answers about why these illnesses occurred,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Using the information gathered by our Public Health partners, we can begin to assess whether additional safeguards can be put in place. Our goal is to put on the safest fair we can.”

Officials believe the illness is related to animal contact, but they have not linked the E. coli outbreak to any one animal at the fair.

Health officials say they conducted a study with 27 people who contracted E. coli after going to the fair and 87 people who went to the fair but did not get sick.

The illnesses caused serious issues for some who contracted it. At least five people were hospitalized and three people suffered kidney failure because of the illness. At least two victims were from Eastern Carolina, in Wilson County.

This is the second time in the last decade that people contracted E. coli from the State Fair. In 2004, more than 100 people got the illness after visiting the petting zoo.


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  • by Linda Location: Winterville on Nov 10, 2011 at 12:36 PM
    Attended the fair twice in the same week.....there are washing stations but as you know you can't teach an "old dog a new trick" so they say....some people don't wash their hands period!
  • by B Location: Gville on Nov 10, 2011 at 12:33 PM
    Animals poop! WASH YOUR HANDS BEFORE YOU STICK THEM IN YOUR MOUTH!
  • by rachel Location: Greenville on Nov 10, 2011 at 08:08 AM
    That is a shame that the news media is going out and blaming animals for e coli. Lets put the real blame on the idiots who didn't wash their hands...e coli is everywhere and people who overreact about livestock make me sick. Do you honesty think that people was the goats off before you come look at them. Its terrible people got so sick but there are much worse things going on in the world for the news to lash out creating ridiculous concerns when you can get e coli anywhere.
  • by Melissa Location: Greenville on Nov 10, 2011 at 07:59 AM
    This is a simple fix for fair goers: Eat your funnel cakes and deep-fried everything BEFORE you go petting animals that live and roll around in a poopy barnyard. For fair officials, I would suggest installing hand-washing stations and/or big hand sanitizer dispensers and putting up signs stressing the importance of washing your hands after touching the animals. Sure, a lot of people probably wouldn't read the signs, but then at least the State Fair people could say they took precautions. You can't keep a goat from pooping, and E. Coli is a necessary part of that bodily function for animals and for humans.
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