The Florida Department of Health’s continuing investigations of reported cases of E. coli O157:H7 and its related Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) in Central Florida has lead to an update:

“As our investigation continues, we’ve found strong evidence to indicate that the Florida State Fair in Tampa may also be involved in the recent Central Florida outbreak of E. coli O157:H7,” said John O. Agwunobi, M.D., M.B.A., M.P.H. “We have strong indication that the petting zoo at each of the fairs is the likely source of exposure, though the investigation continues.”

Officials are focusing on AgVenture Farm Shows, a Plant City petting zoo company, as the likely source of a bacterial outbreak that has sickened people at central Florida fairs and festivals. AgVenture had taken their animals to the Florida State Fair, the Central Florida Fair, and the Florida Strawberry Festival – all places where people had contracted the bacteria.
The Florida DOH released the following numbers at 8 a.m. Thursday, March 31, 2005:
– 19 children and 3 adults in the following Counties:
– Charlotte: 1 case
– Collier: 1 case
– Orange: 11 cases
– Pasco: 2 cases
– Seminole: 1 case
– Volusia: 6 cases
– 24 children and 9 adults in the following Counties:
– Charlotte: 7 cases
– DeSoto: 1 case
– Highlands: 1 case
– Hillsborough: 3 cases
– Lake: 1 case
– Marion: 2 cases
– Orange: 2 cases
– Pinellas: 2 cases
– Polk: 3 case
– Sarasota: 1 case
– Seminole: 2 cases
– Taylor: 7 cases
– Volusia: 1 case