The outbreak below is one of a number of outbreaks in Minnesota linked to animal contact. Pritzker Hageman is a Minnesota personal injury law firm that has won millions for children who contracted E. coli from a petting zoo.

Has your child been diagnosed with E. coli poisoning? You can contact you can call 612-338-0202 or click here now to contact our E. coli lawyers about a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.  E. coli from a petting zoo is preventable by the owner and operator. A lawsuit will help us obtain additional evidence regarding the sanitation measures used to keep the animals and their surroundings clean and visitors safe.

E. coli Lawsuit: 5 Reasons to Sue Now  

E coli
Low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria.

Zerebko Zoo Tran E. coli Outbreak Details

Our lawyers are investigating an outbreak of E. coli O157 linked to the Zerebko Zoo Tran, a traveling petting zoo that visited several county fairs and other venues in Minnesota this summer. Of the 13 people sickened, 2 of them (both children) developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which causes kidney failure and can be fatal.

The Zerebko Zoo Tran is a traveling petting zoo that goes to county fairs throughout Minnesota during the summer. Animals, including goats and cows, are available for visitors to touch. One image on the company’s website shows a little boy kissing an animal.

The Minnesota Department of Health linked 13 cases of E. coli 0157 to the Zerebko Zoo Tran. Of those, 7 were hospitalized. Of those hospitalized, 2 developed HUS. Everyone became ill in July and early August of 2014.

The people sickened visited the Zerebko Zoo Tran at the following locations or had contact with someone who did:

  • Nashwauk 4th of July Festival (7/3-7/5): 1 case
  • Polk County Fair (7/9-7/13): 1 case
  • Rice County Fair (7/15-7/20): 7 cases (2 of them secondary cases)
  • Olmsted County Fair (7/21-7/27): 3 cases

As indicated above, most of the cases (7) are connected to attendance at the Rice County Fair in held at the fairgrounds in Faribault, MN. It is possible (actually likely) that others were sickened but did not know it was E. coli poisoning.

Of the 13 sickened, 2 did not attend one of the above locations, but were in contact with someone who did attend the Rice County Fair. These kinds of cases are called “secondary infections”.

Everyone sickened, including the children, has personal injury claims against Zerebko Zoo, even those with secondary infections. When a child is sickened in this way, the parents also have claims for compensation because in most cases they have to take time off of work.

The Minnesota Department of Health made the link between the illnesses and the traveling petting zoo by using pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), which determines the genetic pattern of DNA from a cell of E. coli. Identical E. coli DNA patterns were found in the stool samples of those sickened and in samples taken from animals and places where they had been.

PFGE evidence can be used during settlement negotiations and in court.  You can call 612-338-0202 to talk to one of our lawyers.