AP Newswire on Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome Outbreak: E. coli
found at another fair
Assoc Press Wire
(Sep) 9:10 1999
The link to this press release (reproduced below) is available from YAHOO:
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - The deadly bacteria E. coli that killed a 3-year-
old girl and sickened nearly 500
others may have found its way into the water at a second county fair, health
A fair worker at F & W Concessions, which sold food at the Washington County
Fair, might have taken three gallons of
tainted water with her to use for coffee, lemonade and frozen treats at the
Rensselaer County Fair on Sept. 1-6.
One of the wells at the Washington County Fair was infected with E. coli
bacteria, state Health Commissioner Antonia Novello
Health officials also think that a deadly strain of E. coli, O157:H7, also
came from that well although they have yet to find any
traces of that E. coli bacteria.
Three-year-old Rachel Aldrich, who died Sept. 4 and was to be buried today,
was the only reported fatality. While 497 people
had been treated at hospitals for E. coli symptoms, 85 cases, including that
of Rachel and her 2-year-old sister, Kaylea, are
confirmed to be E. coli poisoning, Novello said. Kaylea was in serious
All of those sickened visited the Washington County Fair, which was about 35
miles north of Albany, on Aug. 28-29.
The suspected well was not even supposed to be used for the fair, but the
state's recent drought forced the auxiliary well into
use, Novello said.
The fair worker who transported the water, whom state officials refused to
identify, has reported the symptoms of E. coli
infection although it has yet to be confirmed that she was infected, Novello
The water that was used by the worker may have been drawn from a well not
suspected to carry the infection, Novello said.
Health officials said Thursday that they are concentrating their search for
the deadly E. coli bacteria on a 3-year-old well at the
Washington County Fair.
The 20-foot well was only 83 feet from a cattle barn and the ground around it
had been dug up for the installation of two new
wells, Novello said. A strong rainstorm Aug. 26 might have driven some E.
coli-laced cattle manure straight into the well, she
Many of the nation's worst E. coli outbreak come from undercooked meat. In
1993, four children died and more that 700
others became ill from eating undercooked hamburgers at a fast-food
restaurant in the Pacific Northwest.