A 6-year-old boy contracted E. coli after coming into contact with animals at the 2019 San Diego County Fair, making him the fourth confirmed case of the season, health officials announced Tuesday.
The boy saw the fair’s animals on June 22 and started exhibiting symptoms four days later, according to the County of San Diego Health and Human Services Agency.
The 6-year-old was not hospitalized and is now recovering, officials said.
This news comes after 2-year-old Jedidiah Cabezuela died from E. coli last week after visiting the animals at the fair. “Jedi’s” great uncle told NBC 7, “I’m remembering him with a big blue ball in his hand throwing it at me as hard as he can. He’s upstairs now, a little angel.”
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On Tuesday, officials also confirmed a previously suspected case of E. coli involving a 9-year-old who has since recovered.
“As we continue our investigation, more cases are likely to be reported,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H, County public health officer. “This is typical of any public health investigation. Since we asked doctors to be on the lookout for STEC (Shiga-toxin-producing E. coli), they are more likely to test patients exhibiting symptoms.”
It can take up to 10 days after being exposed to E. coli for symptoms to show.
While most people recover from E. coli, HHSA said up to 10 percent of people may develop a life-threatening kidney infection.
Symptoms can include a high fever, severe abdominal cramps, and vomiting.
“If you start to develop these symptoms, contact your doctor,” Wooten said.
HHSA said people should always wash their hands thoroughly after coming into contact with animals at fairs, petting zoos, and farms.
In total, there are four confirmed cases of E. coli linked to animals at the San Diego County Fair and one probable case, HHSA said Tuesday.
Officials closed public access to all animal areas, including the petting zoo, at the fairgrounds, effective June 28.