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Health officials confirm more cases of people sickened by E. coli.
The total has risen to 21. A tenth case from Cleveland County was reported Sunday. Gaston and Lincoln Counties have reported five cases each. One case has been reported from York, SC.
Of those, one child from Gaston County has died. At least six are hospitalized and others are dealing with kidney failure.
The NC Department of Health and Human Services confirmed Saturday that the child from Gaston County died from complications of E coli, and is the first death in the state related to an outbreak of the illness among those who attended the Cleveland County fair.
Gage Lefevers, a toddler from Gaston County, passed away Friday afternoon at the hospital, sources said.
A source close to the family confirms to WBTV the toddler was being treated for suspected E. coli, possibly contracted at the Cleveland County Fair.
"This death underscores the seriousness of this outbreak," Gaston County Health Director Chris Dobbins said.
"I can't imagine what that family is going through," said Beth McNair, who has a son being treated for E. coli. Jordan McNair is said to be slowly improving.
Family members of other E. coli victims told WBTV that they are all gathered in support at the hospital tonight.
According to the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, investigators are working with local health departments in Gaston, Cleveland and Lincoln counties to investigate the outbreak. There is also one reported case in York County, SC.
The people sickened have all attended the Cleveland County Fair between September 26 and October 7.
"[We will] investigate as quickly as possible to make sure that it's not spread," said Cleveland County Health Department Director Dorothea Wyant.
Dobbins says it's possible we could see even more cases pop up in the next several days. He reminds folks to see a doctor right away if you attended the Cleveland County fair and have the following symptoms: diarrhea longer than three days, bloody diarrhea that began on or after Oct 1.
For more on other cases of the sickness, click here.