Eleven children and two adults came down with E. coli days after visiting the petting zoo at the Pacific National Exhibition this summer. It was the first time the PNE has been linked to cases of E. coli since the agricultural fair opened in 1910.
Thousands of children passed through the petting zoo every year during the fair. A spokesman for B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver confirmed Tuesday three of the 13 cases were serious enough to warrant hospital care.
One child remained in hospital Tuesday in fair condition and two children have been sent home. The ages of the victims ranged from 21 months to 69 years. E. coli is more commonly transmitted in uncooked meat.
However the pathogens can be transmitted through contact with fecal matter that is picked up by petting the animals or touching hand rails, fences or other surfaces.
Vancouver Coastal Health Authority is conducting an investigation into the E. coli outbreak.
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