Cleveland County Fair E. coli-HUS Victims are Recovering

Finally, some good news regarding the E. coli poisoning outbreak associated with the Cleveland County Fair in Shelby, North Carolina. According to news reports, Hannah Roberts, a 5-year-old E. coli-HUS patient, is expected to be released from Levine Children’s hospital today. Jordan Mcnair, a 12-year-old, E. coli-HUS patient, is still in critical condition. Both children became ill after attending the Cleveland County Fair.

Health officials suspect that Hannah, Jordan and over 100 other people contracted E. coli infections from animals at the petting zoo, either directly or indirectly from E. coli bacteria that originated at the petting zoo and was spread to other parts of the fair. Some cases may also be secondary infections, where a fair visitor got sick and then transmitted the illness to others.

Petting zoos are a known E. coli risk because animal manure can easily get on children’s hands or other part of the body, where it can then get into the mouth and be ingested. Once even a small number of E. coli bacteria find their way to a human colon (large intestine), they can colonize and cause severe illness, including hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the leading cause of kidney failure in children in the United States.

Attorney Fred Pritzker and our Bad Bug Law Team have represented children sickened at petting zoos, and in most cases the specific animal that caused the outbreak is not found. We did, however, just win a case for a family whose little boy was sickened by a llama at a petting zoo.

Contact Fred for a free consultation here.

Public health officials in the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services have not determined the specific cause of the E. coli-HUS outbreak and are not confident that they will be able to pinpoint a single source. Legally, this does not prevent victims of the outbreak and their families from filing lawsuits against the county and others seeking compensation for the following:

  • Medical expenses paid and expected;
  • Income loss for time off of work, etc.;
  • Pain;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Any other expected expenses and losses; and
  • Any other damages recoverable under the law.

To date, 64 children and 42 adults have confirmed cases of E. coli. Twelve people were hospitalized, and one of them died, a two-year-old boy.

Cases have been identified from Cleveland (61), Catawba (1), Gaston (18), Lincoln (14), Mecklenburg (1), Rutherford (4) and Union (3) counties in North Carolina, and York (2) and Cherokee (2) counties in South Carolina. One hundred and five individuals are identified as having had direct exposure at the Cleveland County Fair; one individual is believed to have contracted the infection after the fair ended.

Attorney Fred Pritzker has successfully represented North Carolina clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases involving E. coli poisoning. Contact Fred for a free consultation here.

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Category: Food Poisoning
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