Updated July 21, 2023, with new information about the investigation Goats at Lucky Ladd Farms in Eagleville, TN were the source of a deadly E. coli outbreak in June that included 12 children. Starting June 6, Lucky Ladd held multiple five-day summer camp sessions teaching animal husbandry for children ages 6-10. In each session, children select a baby goat and care for it for the duration of the camp.
The Tennessee Department of Health was informed on June 22 that a child hospitalized in Florida with an E. coli O157:H7 infection had attended a goat husbandry summer camp at Lucky Ladd Farms. Three days later, the department learned that a 2-year-old whose sibling attended the camp was hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) at Vanderbilt Univesity Medical Center in Nashville. HUS is a form of kidney failure associated with E. coli infections that most often affects small children. Tragically, the toddler died.
An investigation revealed that two baby goats were the source of the outbreak.
E. coli Outbreak Investigation
The Tennesse Department of Health (TDH) sent surveys to 82 families whose children attended the camp from June 6, 2024, to June 24, 2024, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Fifty-three of the recipients returned the forms. There were 12 primary cases and two secondary cases. The risk of acquiring an E. coli infection was higher during the first week of camp.
On June 28 and 29, health officials conducted an investigation at the farm where they interviewed owners and employees, reviewed records, and assessed the “animal pens, public petting areas, areas where children cared for the animals, food service facilities, handwashing and sanitizing facilities, play areas, and toilets.” They also collected 41 samples from these areas.
Test results revealed six positives for E. coli. Two of them, collected from a goat feces sample and an environmental swab from wood in the barn, were positive for E. coli O157:H7. Genetic tests showed these to be closely related to the E. coli O157:H7 isolates collected from the patients.
E. coli O157:H7 and HUS Symptoms
E. coli O157:H7 is one of E. coli strains that produce Shiga toxins which are poisonous to humans and cause severe illness. Symptoms of an E. coli infection include fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea that is sometimes bloody. They usually develop within one to three days of exposure.
Did your child develop E. coli?
Experienced E. coli Lawyers
If your child developed an E. coli infection at Lucky Ladd Farms and you would like a free consultation with an experienced E. coli lawyer, please contact our E. coli Legal Team. We have represented clients in every major E. coli outbreak in the U.S. You can reach us by calling 1-888-377-8900, sending a text to 612-261-0856, or by completing the form below. The consultation is free and there is no obligation.