E.coli infections linked to traveling petting zoo

By KBJR News 1

E.coli infections linked to traveling petting zoo

August 12, 2014 Updated Aug 12, 2014 at 6:35 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- The Minnesota Department of Health has linked thirteen cases of E. coli O157:H7 infections to Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo after environmental and animal fecal samples were collected.

Since the positive samples were collected, the owner of the petting zoo has voluntarily withdrawn the animals from the last two fair visits they were going to attend.

The petting zoo had been at the Rice County Fair, Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, Olmsted County Fair and Polk County Fair. There have been cases identified with each stop.

Seven of the thirteen cases have required hospitalization and two cases have developed a complication from the infection that involves the kidneys known as hemolytic uremic syndrome.

Illness usually occurs when people come in contact with the germs on contaminated surfaces or by touching the animals. If a person were to become infected, the symptoms usually start two to five days after exposure.

Symptoms of E. coli O157:H7 infection include severe stomach cramps and diarrhea. Bloody stool may also occur with a low grade fever or no fever at all. More cases may be reported from the Olmsted County Fair, as it was the petting zoos last stop.

For more information about E. coli O157:H7 infections, please click here.