3 children treated for e. coli, all visited Cleveland Co. Fair - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

3 children treated for e. coli, all visited Cleveland Co. Fair

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CLEVELAND COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - Two more cases of e. coli have been reported to health officials in Cleveland County, bringing the total number of cases in the area to at least three.

Two children, ages three and eleven, were treated and released in Cleveland County after being diagnosed with the bacteria, according to the Cleveland County Health Dept.

Monday, WBTV reported a 12-year-old boy from Gaston County was hospitalized with e. coli and shigella. All three children attended the Cleveland County Fair last week.

At last check, the Gaston County boy was in the intensive care unit at Levine Children's Hospital with e. coli and shigella bacteria. His family told WBTV doctors suspect he could have been sickened after visiting the Cleveland County Fair last week.

The 12-year-old's mother does not want his name publicized at this time but wants to spread the word about the importance of hand washing.  People can get e. coli by coming in contact with animal feces and then getting it in their mouths.  E. coli can also spread through food that's not prepared properly or thoroughly cooked.

The boy visited the Cleveland County Fair with his family on Sunday, Sept. 30.  He ate two corn dogs and visited the petting zoo. He felt ill the next day and his condition grew worse over the next week. As of Monday night, he was in the ICU at Levine.  Doctors were keeping him sedated and had concerns over his kidney function.

The Cleveland County Health Dept. is investigating to see if there is a common connection among the three children who visited the fair.  It's still uncertain where exactly they picked up the e. coli bacteria.

 Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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