Four people, including three girls between the ages of six and 13, have tested positive for Shiga toxin-producing E. coli in connection with the Ekka, an annual fair-like agricultural show in Queensland.
Health officials in Queensland announced on Monday that another eight visitors had fallen ill with symptoms of E. coli infection. They are still awaiting test results to confirm their infections.
At least one patient, a 68-year-old man, has been hospitalized.
The state’s chief health officer advised anyone who visited the farm-animal petting area at the Ekka and then experienced bloody or persistent diarrhea to seek medical attention.
Health investigators are working to determine which animals at the exhibit may have been carrying the bacteria.
Last year, a toddler died after contracting an E. coli infection at a state fair in North Carolina. Food Safety News published an in-depth report this past November on related illness outbreaks: “The Petting Zoo Problem.”© Food Safety News