A new, confirmed case of Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) that may be related to animals at the San Diego County Fair has been reported, the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency announced today. Meanwhile, lab results have confirmed a previously reported case.
The new case is a 6-year-old boy who attended animal displays at the fair on June 22 and started exhibiting symptoms June 26. He was not hospitalized and is now recovering.
The previously reported, and now confirmed case, is a 9-year-old who was not hospitalized and has recovered.
To date there have been a total of five cases linked to contact with animals at the fair: four confirmed cases and one probable case.
“As we continue our investigation, more cases are likely to be reported,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “This is typical of any public health investigation. Since we asked doctors to be on the lookout for STEC, they are more likely to test patients exhibiting symptoms.”
The first four cases—including the death of a 2-year-old boy—were reported by the Health and Human Services Agency late Friday and County health officials recommended that the San Diego County Fair close all animal exhibits to the public.
Since then, HHSA has assisted a California Department of Food and Agriculture veterinarian to collect environmental samples. Test results from all the specimens are not expected until well after the fair closes.
However, since the incubation period for E. coli is up to 10 days after exposure, and reporting to the health department is often delayed, more cases connected to the fair could be reported through the middle of next week.
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