Two more children, this time from Seminole County, have now been added to the growing list of victims stricken by a bacterial infection after visiting recent fairs in Florida. Five children are being treated at Orlando hospitals. Two were listed in critical condition Tuesday, and three were in fair condition. In addition, two adults remain hospitalized in Orlando in fair condition.
Most of the illnesses have occurred among Orange County residents, with 13 cases. There are six in Volusia; three in Seminole; two in Pasco; and one each in Charlotte and Collier counties. The state also is investigating 40 other suspected cases.
There are now 26 confirmed cases linked to illnesses caused by E. coli O157:H7, which can be passed through contact with the feces of animals. Most of the victims are children, and had visited petting zoos at fairs in Tampa, Orlando and Plant City during February and March.
The Florida Department of Health is focusing its investigation on Plant City company Ag-Venture Farm Shows, which ran petting zoos at all three fairs. The animals are being tested and have been placed under quarantine.