The passage of another day has not brought clarity to an outbreak of E. coli O157:H7 that has sickened 21 in North Carolina. There are illnesses reported in Wake County (11), Sampson County (6) and single cases in Durham, Johnston, Franklin and Cleveland counties.
From the outset, a link to the North Carolina State Fair has been considered a possibility. According to a report, Dr. Megan Davies, stated that such a link remains only a possibility. It was further reported that:
At least one-quarter of those affected attended the fair, which began Oct. 13 in Raleigh and wrapped up Sunday. About 1 million people from across the state attended the fair.
The North Carolina State Division of Public Health has taken over primary responsibility for the investigation.
In another story today, the parent of one of the young victims spoke out.
Hunter Tallent, of Shelby, is hospitalized at Carolinas Medical Center and was in serious condition at midday Friday in the hospital’s intensive care unit.
He and his parents, Lindsay and Doc Tallent, visited the fair Oct. 15, on its third day. Hunter is among 22 people in North Carolina to contract E.coli in the past week, and state health officials say most — if not all — of the victims attended the state fair. According to some reports, most victims were at the fair early in its 11-day run.
Lindsay Tallent, 27, has been keeping friends and family posted on her son’s condition via Facebook. She said Hunter, who got sick a week ago, apparently suffered a setback Thursday.
In a post at 9 p.m. Thursday, she wrote, “He is still running a fever. He went through his second dose of dialysis. We just got his blood work back. It went downhill again. But he will get more blood tomorrow, and tomorrow is another day.”