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46 Cleveland County fairgoers now sickened from E. coli

Posted October 15, 2012
Updated October 16, 2012

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— The number of people infected with E. coli after contracting the bacteria from a North Carolina county fair has jumped to 46, health officials said Tuesday.

A spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Human Services said that, as of Tuesday afternoon, 29 children, including one who died, and 17 adults who attended the Cleveland County Fair have gotten sick.

Ten people have been or are currently in the hospital.

Twenty-two of the cases have been reported in Cleveland County, nine, including the death, in Gaston County, 10 in Lincoln County and one each in Catawba, Mecklenburg and Union counties in North Carolina and York and Cherokee counties in South Carolina.

The nine-day fair ended Oct. 7. Health officials say symptoms of E. coli infection could come up to 10 days after exposure and can include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting.

Officials have not identified the specific source of the bacteria.


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  • Six String Oct 17, 2012

    I don't dismiss the danger of e-coli, it is extremely dangerous and people with strong immune systems are not immune to it. That being said, I know a young couple who just had their second child, and for both (through the first year of life), you could not handle the child without antiseptic hand rub and a mask. What they don't realize is that a very young child still has his mother's immunity from many diseases. After they get older, eating a little dirt is not necessarily a bad thing. But you have to eat dirt responsibly.

  • wayneboyd Oct 17, 2012

    Kellysnll, I believe it's because you have immune system, I've posted this comment several times. Most people live in a doctors office and consume some kind of anti=botic every day. If everytime something came up in your life that needed your attention and some one beat you to the draw and did it for you it wouldn't be very long before you'd become a couch potato, thats what peoples immune system has done. I grew up the way you did, we played in the pig pens, the cow and horse stables, the chicken houses and ate raw wild fruits and raw vegetables from the garden and we only washed our hands if my mother reminded us to. I'm an old man now and I've visited a hospital twice, once with pneumonia and once when somebody said I had a heart attack. I took the $430.00 worth of drugs I was prescribed for life for one month. I still work 5 hours a day 7 days a week and I'm 75, the heart attack was 4 years ago. Praise God!

  • kellypsnll Oct 17, 2012

    I agree with DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT. I have grown up doing lots of things without washing my hands afterwards. Bathroom cleanliness is a must though. I've gone to plenty of fairs without washing my hands after petting the animals and I never even got a sniffle. In a world of constant hand washing with anti-bacterial soap and handi wipes when using the shopping carts at the store are as much to blame.

    I drank from the garden hose, ate raw hamburger meat, and licked the batter bowl that had omg raw eggs mixed in. Nothing ever happened to me. I'm very healthy.

  • Country Girlz Have MORE fun Oct 17, 2012

    Stop bringing animals to the fair???WHAT??? How about the people who don't know how to wash their hands (as simple as it is) STAY HOME !
    Maybe you'd rather walk around in an AIR TIGHT BUBBLE... I'd pay $1.00 to see that...LOL.

  • Six String Oct 17, 2012

    We could have a psychologist work with the animals to teach them not to roll around in their own waste, or people could just wash their hands after touching the animals. I like the hand washing best.

  • liveNlearn Oct 17, 2012

    hey folks here's a hint. While at the fair the "brown stuff" in and around the animal exhibits is NOT dirt.

  • davidgnews Oct 17, 2012

    " it's by common sense and education! " Scubagirl

    Sadly, they seem to be getting shorter in supply for some reason.

  • Scubagirl Oct 16, 2012


    That's crazy!!! What ever happened to PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY for taking care of yourself. If grown folks don't know better than to do that how in the world are their children going to learn. It's NOT by removing the animals, it's by common sense and education!

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 16, 2012

    "The spread of ecoli has as much to do with where people go and what they do after coming in contact with animals and the sad state of human immune systems..."

    Ding, ding, ding, ding, ding!!! We have a winner. Especially about the human immune system. If the animals are the sole reason of E.coli, then why aren't the farmers, that own the animals, sick constantly? Its because they are regularly exposed to E.coli. Their immune systems can handle it. But the rest of us, that live in extremely sterile environments, do NOT have a strong immune system.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Oct 16, 2012


    That's the silliest thing I've heard in a long time. That's the reason you HAVE a Fair. You must think a Fair was only about the food and rides. That is the entertainment. But the purpose of EVERY fair is to compete. You do that with everything farm related, INCLUDING animals.