State health workers say there are two new confirmed cases of a potentially deadly E. coli infection in Florida, for a total of 24 confirmed cases statewide and 40 suspected cases. So far, most of the cases have been found in children in Orange County.
State health officials said Plant City-based AgVenture Farm Shows appears to be the common link in the illnesses, they emphasized that their investigation is not finished. AgVenture was the company that provided petting zoos for all three Florida fairs where visitors had contracted Escherichia coli O157:H7. The illness has been marked by mild to severe cases of diarrhea for most victims. But in some cases, the diarrhea has been followed by a dangerous condition known as hemolytic uremic syndrome, or HUS, which has caused kidney failure and requires the use of dialysis. Young children and adults with compromised immune systems are most vulnerable to the illness.
Lawsuits are beginning to be filed by victims of the infection against AgVenture. Attorney Scott Miller is representing Tricia Chace of Deltona and her children, Connor, 3, and 18-month-old twins Courtney and Cole, who fell ill after attending the petting zoo at the Central Florida Fair, which ended March 13..
Marler Clark is also filing legal action against AgVenture on behalf of Yvonne Miller of Orlando, who attended the Central Florida Fair on March 13 with her three children. Three days later, she became ill with symptoms of an E. coli infection, was hospitalized for five days and required a blood transfusion.