4 Children Who Visited Dairy Festival Now Sick From E. Coli

When you visit animals at a fair or a petting zoo, there are usually hand-washing or hand sanitizer stations at every entrance and exit. There’s a very good reason why these exist. That’s been proven in Washington state, where a handful of first-graders are sick from E. coli, a potentially dangerous pathogen that’s transmitted in, um, poop.

About 1,000 first-graders visited the Milk Makers Fest, where they were able to pet farm animals, learn about farming, and drink some chocolate milk. These are all super-fun and educational activities, but authorities note that all of the children who have become ill attended the event at the fairgrounds.

The group running the fest points out that hand-sanitizing stations were available in every barn. While the infection hasn’t yet conclusively been linked to the festival, it does seem very likely.

Early symptoms of E. coli infection are diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps. The diarrhea is often bloody. So far, four children are confirmed to have E. coli, and two more are ill and suspected of having the illness, but authorities haven’t yet confirmed it.

There needs to be some kind of catchy slogan for this. Maybe “pet some cows, wash your hands down.” I am not good at slogans, so be sure to wash your hands after touching farm animals, and make sure that any kids under your care do the same.

Washington First-Graders Sickened by E. Coli After Attending Dairy Festival [Food Safety News]

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