In late October, an E. coli outbreak sickened more than 100 attendees at the Cleveland County Fair in North Carolina. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported that a two-year-old child died from the bacteria and a dozen other people that were affected required hospitalization. Officials are comparing the incident to one in 2011 at the North Carolina State Fair in Raleigh, where 27 people were fell ill after spending time in the fairground livestock building.
The second recent case of E. coli illnesses happened in Michigan, where health officials are currently investigating if raw, unpasteurized apple cider was the cause of multiple reports of E. coli infection in Antrim County residents.
The Northwest Michigan Health Department has partnered with the Michigan Departments of Agriculture and Rural Development and Community Health to chase down unpasteurized, unlabeled apple cider produced by an unlicensed facility. The strain of E. coli has yet to be determined, but was part of a shiga toxin-producing strain. The illnesses in this instance developed over a two-week period.