Local News

Boy dies from E. Coli outbreak at Cleveland County fair

Posted October 13, 2012 11:09 a.m. EDT
Updated October 14, 2012 6:43 p.m. EDT

— North Carolina health officials said a child has died from an E. coli infection contracted at the Cleveland County Fair.

State health officials did not release the child's name, but WBTV News identified him as Gage Lefever, 2, of Gaston County.

As of Sunday afternoon, 21 people — seven adults and 14 children — had gotten sick with the bacteria. Six children were still hospitalized.

Those infected include nine from Cleveland County, five each from Gaston and Lincoln counties, and one from York County in South Carolina.

Health officials continue to investigate to determine the source of this E. Coli outbreak. The bacteria are found in the waste of animals, and people who touch contaminated material such as food or animals can transfer the bacteria to their mouths or to other people.

Cleveland County Fair director Calvin Hastings says the fair tried to prevent E. coli problems by adding hand-washing stations and moving food vendors farther away from animals.

The name of the child who died was not released.