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E. coli outbreak in connection with the exhibition on the birth of animals at the State Fair



At least 11 Minnesota State Fair visitors this summer suffered from E. coli infections, and disease investigators concluded that contact with animals in the popular Miracle of Birth Center is the main culprit.

Six of the diseased persons, aged 2 to 43 years, were admitted to hospital, and one patient suffered from hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication involving blood and kidneys.

Survey of 10 patients revealed that eight had visited the Miracle of Birth Center Not everyone touched the calves, goats, sheep, or piglets in the middle, but fecal bacteria may have spread to railings or other surfaces, Kirk Smith said. an epidemiologist from the Minnesota Department of Health. "There were all kinds of outbreaks where people touched a contaminated surface, like a fence railing or the grandstand, and these germs have a way to find their way around a building."

The risk of exposure is low after the fair closes, but the Health officials issued a warning message on Tuesday to help doctors look for more cases and reminded the public of the importance of hand washing and hygiene to prevent infections, and Smith noted that sick people still pass the infection on to other people E. coli outbreaks often occur in childcare facilities in this way.

DNA tests are performed to confirm that all 1

1 people have the same E. coli O157 According to Smith, he was "notorious" for serious illnesses and complications It is possible that the two diseased people who did not go to the Center for Wonders of Birth had unrelated infections.

Minnesota reports approximately 130 cases of E. coli O157 infections per year, and some are typically associated with agricultural events such as fairs. Smith said that since a 2007 outbreak in connection with the cattle barn, he can no longer remember a Mass at the State Fair, where there are numerous hand washing and disinfecting stations. The show also had an outbreak of H1N1 influenza or swine flu in 2009, leading to evacuation of teens from the 4-H dorm.

Pursuing state officials to ensure that animals have been exhibited in the Miracle of Birth House is not part of a public exhibit.

Regardless, Smith said that people should not bring food to animal exhibits and always wash their hands after they leave.

Gastric spasms and diarrhea are the most common symptoms of E. coli infections that spread when people touch contaminated animals or surfaces with fecal matter. E. coli can spread in the air by contact with sawdust or other heavy particles, but presents the greatest risk when these particles settle on railings or high contact surfaces. Sometimes people donate to E. coli and suffer transmission after taking off their shoes.

Smith said. "Even healthy animals can carry E, coli O157. It does not necessarily make her sick. You have to wash your hands. "

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