Three children who attended the Red River Valley Fair in West Fargo have been diagnosed with shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli) (STEC) infections, according to the North Dakota Department of Health. The fair was held July 7 through 12. The incubation period for illness is 3 to 10 days.
One of the children developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a severe complication of an E. coli infection that causes kidney failure and a host of other medical problems, including strokes, cardiac issues, pancreatitis, diabetes and blindness. This little one is extremely sick.
Our law firm has represented children sickened at fairs. In most of these cases, the source of the illness is animals or a location at the fair where there were animals at one time. It is also possible that the source was a food product, but, given that all of the people sickened were children, it looks more like it was animals. What happens is little hands touch an animal, the ground or even the wood of a stall that has contaminated manure on it. Then the hands go in the mouth, and the bacteria are ingested and travel to the large intestine (colon), where they colonize (multiply) and cause illness.
The North Dakota Department of Health is asking that cases of diarrhea for more than 24 hours within 10 days of attending the fair be reported to the department. If, right now, your child attended the fair and he or she has diarrhea (particularly bloody diarrhea), it is very important that you get your child to the doctor immediately. Tell your doctor that there is an E. coli outbreak associated with attendance at the fair and ask that tests be done on your child’s stool sample. This is important for your child’s health. Of less importance is that it is evidence that can be used in a lawsuit for compensation.
5 Reasons to Sue for E. coli Poisoning and HUS
You get access to additional information from the health department and fair management;
- It is more likely your child will get any available insurance money;
- You will have the opportunity to make a stand for fair safety;
- Your case could prevent similar outbreaks; and
- A lawsuit can help pay medical bills, lost parental income and other expenses.