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Toddler Dies After Visiting County Fair

Health officials in San Diego blame E. coli, possibly from petting zoo
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2019 10:00 AM CDT
People look at a menu at the San Diego County Fair on June 21, 2011, in Del Mar, Calif.   (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
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(Newser) – Four children were sickened after visiting the San Diego County Fair earlier this month, and now, one has died. FOX 5, citing a release from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency, reports all four children, said to be between the ages of 2 and 13, contracted E. coli infections after going to the fair. While a definitive source is being investigated, it's said that the children, who visited the fair between June 8 and June 15, all had contact with animals at the fair, either at the event's petting zoo or in other animal areas. "No contamination has to do with food service or food at all. That's been verified," Timothy Fennell, CEO of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, said at a Friday evening presser, per NBC News.

One of the affected children, a 2-year-old boy, was hospitalized and died on Monday. The other three children didn't have to be hospitalized. All four started exhibiting symptoms between June 10 and June 16. CNN notes that symptoms of an E. coli infection can include diarrhea, stomach cramps, and vomiting. The SD HHSA says that anyone exhibiting any of these symptoms on or after June 8 should contact a health care provider. The fair, which continues through Thursday, notes on its site that "in the interest of public safety, activities involving direct animal interaction at the Fair have been suspended. All guests are encouraged to wash their hands after any contact with animals or their living area, as well as prior to eating or drinking." (Read more E. coli stories.)

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