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N.C. State Fair identified as source for E. coli outbreak

The Daily Reflector reported today that the North Carolina State Fair has been positively identified as the source of a rash of E. coli infections, health officials said Monday, but where at the fair remains a mystery.
State officials are investigating 112 E. Coli cases, none of which are in Pitt County. Of the 35 who have tested positive, 32 confirmed they visited the fair during the week before becoming sick.
The closest infections to Pitt County are two confirmed cases in Wilson County. Wake County, the site of the fair, has the most with 17.
Speaking during a news conference on Monday, the state’s chief epidemiologist, Steve Cline, said officials don’t know what at the State Fair caused the infections. The annual fair was held in Raleigh from Oct. 15-24.
The event’s petting zoo is a likely source, but food contamination is another theory, Cline said. Nearly half of the people infected are younger than five years old, and two-thirds are younger than 18. Officials believe children’s sanitation practices could be the reasons, plus children are a little more susceptible.

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