Two more cases of potentially deadly E. coli infection linked to petting zoos at three central Florida fairs have raised the total number of confirmed cases to 24.
Twenty-one children and three adults either tested positive for the infection in their stool or else had a potentially fatal kidney disease known as hemolytic uremic syndrome. All had visited petting zoos at the Central Florida Fair in Orlando, the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City or the Florida State Fair in Tampa over the past two months. Some victims also have progressed to a potentially fatal kidney disease called hemolytic uremic syndrome.
The same company, Plant City-based Ag-Venture Farm Shows, supplied the animals at all three fairs. Orange County had the most cases at 13, followed by six inVolusia, two in Pasco, and one each for Charlotte, Collier and Seminole counties.
Most of the victims have been released from the hospital, and there have been no deaths from the outbreak. There are an additional 40 suspected cases, involving 26 children and 14 adults, said Florida Secretary of Health John Aguwnobi. “Fortunately, we’ve had no deaths associated with this outbreak,” said Aguwnobi, who plans to visit an Orlando hospital Monday where patients were treated for the outbreak.