2012 Cleveland County Fair E. coli Outbreak
North Carolina public health officials investigated an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak associated with attendance at the Cleveland County Fair, which ran from September 27 to October 7, 2012. At least 106 people became ill with E. coli infections after either visiting the fair of coming into direct contact with a person who had attended the fair.
As of October 29, 2012, the North Carolina Department of Human Services reported that 65 children and 41 adults had become ill with E. coli infections after exposure at the Cleveland County Fair. At least 13 people had been hospitalized, some with hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and a 2-year-old child had died.
The Cleveland County Fair contained 5 animal petting areas, which were the focus of the E. coli outbreak investigation.