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North Carolina Faces Lawsuit Over Petting Zoo E. Coli Outbreak

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Attorneys representing 14 children who became sick after E.coli exposure from animal feces have said that North Carolina failed to warn the public and reduce the health risks of a children’s petting zoo at the 2004 State Fair, the News Observer reported today.

According to the lawsuit, 108 children suffered severe diarrhea, and 15 of those came down with a life-threatening complication called hemolytic uremic syndrome from a strain of E.coli that was transmitted from goat and sheep feces.

The state argued that they took reasonable precautions, including hand sanitizer stations, signs that directed the public to clean their hands after touching the animals. Bathrooms were also provided throughout the fair with soap and water, which at the time was considered an appropriate measure for preventing disease transmission.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs said that the signs were not noticed, the hand sanitizer was not enough to kill bacteria, and that some small children fell down in hay that was contaminated with manure.

One of the children who became sick suffered severe damage to her pancreas and kidneys and is now on blood pressure medication and an insulin pump.

Opening arguments were heard Monday, and the individuals lawsuits were consolidated for a hearing before the judge. The News Observer said the hearing is expected to continue through the week. disclaimer: This article: North Carolina Faces Lawsuit Over Petting Zoo E. Coli Outbreak was posted on Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011 at 3:22 pm at and is filed under Food Poisoning Lawsuits.

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