Source: County News Center
July 11, 2019 (San Diego) – As of July 10, 10 confirmed cases and one probable case have been reported in an outbreak of Shiga-toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) that may be related to contact with animals at the San Diego County Fair. Three people were hospitalized and one child has died. All of the patients who became ill had visited the fair on or before June 22, says county spokesman Tom Christensen. The first cases were reported June 28 and the animal exhibits were shut down for the final days of the fair, which ended July 4.
County Environmental Health also re-inspected food facilities visited by the children and found no link to the cases. For more information, visit the County News Center:
Symptoms of STEC infection
People with a STEC infection usually start feeling sick 3-4 days after eating or drinking something that contains the bacteria. However, illness can start anywhere from 1-10 days following exposure. Symptoms vary, but often include:
- Severe abdominal cramps
- Watery or bloody diarrhea (3 or more loose stools in a 24-hour period)
Fever, if present, is usually not very high (less than 101˚F/38.5˚C). Most people get better within 5-7 days. However, some infections can be severe or life-threatening. Please contact your health care provider if you have experienced these symptoms on or after June 8, and especially if you have diarrhea that lasts for more than 3 days or diarrhea that is accompanied by a fever higher than 102˚F, or blood in the stool, or so much vomiting that you cannot keep liquids down and you pass very little urine.
Preventing STEC infection
One of the best ways to help prevent infection with STEC is frequent and proper handwashing. Always wash your hands thoroughly after contact with animals or their environments (at farms, petting zoos, fairs, even your own backyard). Everyone, especially young children, older individuals, and people with weakened immune systems, should wash their hands before eating or drinking. Thorough handwashing means using plenty of soap, warm water, and scrubbing all surfaces of the hands (including between the fingers), for at least 20 seconds.
For additional information about STEC infection and how to prevent it, please see the sections below.
Data and Reports
County of San Diego HHSA
Monthly Communicable Disease Report: May 2018 (Shiga Toxin-Producing E. Coli)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Shiga toxin: producing E. coli (STEC) Questions and Answers
California Department of Public Health