Minnesota State Fair Visitors Sickened by E. coli

Livestock at the Minnesota State Fair, 2017 Livestock at the Minnesota State Fair, 2017 |  Photo: WDIO-TV

Created: September 17, 2019 03:00 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Health officials say at least 11 people got sick with E. coli infections after visiting the Minnesota State Fair this summer.
The Minnesota Department of Health say the ill people reported having visited the fair between Aug. 25 and Sept. 2, and becoming ill between Aug. 29 and Sept. 6. The cases ranged in age from 2 to 43 years. Six of the ill people were hospitalized, and one developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, a potentially fatal complication. One person remains hospitalized.

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MDH officials say symptoms of E. coli O157 infection include stomach cramps and diarrhea. People typically become ill two to five days after exposure, but this can range from one to eight days. 

The department is working with fair officials to trace the source of the outbreak. But contact with livestock is the most likely factor.

Most of those who got sick visited the Miracle of Birth exhibit and had contact with calves, goats, sheep or piglets. But some did not have contact with animals and may have been exposed by touching contaminated surfaces.
Since the fair has ended, officials say there's little chance of people still being exposed.

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