Florida Strawberry Festival & Central Florida Fair Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS) Outbreak

Modified on 2009/10/14 21:46 by admin
Nine children who attended county fairs in Tampa and Orlando have contracted a rare blood disorder. The condition, known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), is characterized by the destruction of red blood cells and kidney damage. Several of the children are suffering from kidney failure.

According to Hillsborough and Orange county health officials investigating the outbreak, the only link between the sick children is their visits to the Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City and the Central Florida Fair in Orlando. Because contact with infected animals is one source of the infection, investigators are questioning the operators of Ag-Venture, a Plant City petting zoo that supplied more than a dozen animals to both fairs. All the children visited livestock at the events.

Health officials have not ruled out food as the source of the infection. Undercooked meat and unpasteurized milk, along with human sewage, can lead to HUS. Signs of HUS include diarrhea (especially bloody), a possible fever and decreased urine output. Often the diarrhea ends at which point the child becomes lethargic and anemic.

The Florida Department of Health says the outbreak of HUS may only get larger. According to epidemiologists with the Department, many people may have been infected but are not showing signs of illness. None of the children have tested positive for e. coli, the usual cause of HUS. Three, however, have tested positive for a staph bacterium not generally associated with the condition.

See a doctor if you or your child is showing symptoms of HUS. In addition, it may be important to contact an attorney who can help you protect your legal rights. Please keep in mind that there may be time limits within which you must commence suit.

See Also

  1. Amusement Parks & Roller Coasters: Overview
  2. Diarrhea: Overview
  3. Hemolytic-Uremic Syndrome (HUS)
  4. Kidney Failure
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