E. coli sickens 3 kids from Dayton, Minn. pumpkin patch, petting zoo
The Minnesota Department of Health confirmed three Minnesota children have become ill with E. coli infections after coming into contact with animals at Dehn's Pumpkins in Dayton, Minn.
The children ranged from 15 months to 7 years of age.
One of the children is hospitalized with kidney failure due to hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which is a serious complication of an E. coli infection. The other two were not hospitalized and are now recovering. It has become known that the three cases visited the farm on Oct. 12 or 13 and became ill on Oct. 16 or 18.
Two additional people have reported symptoms and currently being tested. These cases visited Dehn's Pumpkins on Oct. 18, which causes concern that exposure could have occurred after the initial cases on Oct. 12-13.
All the cases have reported having contact with cattle or goats at the farms petting zoo. The farm has prohibited access to the cattle and goats area, but the rest of the farm remains open for business.
Anyone that has developed E. coli like symptoms, severe stomach cramps, diarrhea often with bloody stools, low-grade or no fever, since Oct. 12 should contact their provider immediately.
The Minnesota Department of Health is encouraging anyone that comes into contact with animals to wash their hands with soap and water. Washing hands is the best way to prevent any illness that the person may have when in contact with animals, especially cattle and goats. Hand sanitizers afford some protection, but does not protect as well against germs and visibly soiled hands.