2015 E. coli O157 Outbreak at Milk Makers Fest, Washington
In April 2015 local and state public health officials investigated an outbreak of E. coli O157 that occurred among people who attended the Milk Makers Fest held at the Northwest Washington Fairground in Lynden, Washington. The event was held between April 21 and April 23. Illnesses occurred among attendees as well as persons who helped with the event. Secondary cases were reported. More than 1,000 primary school children from all school districts in Whatcom County attended the event. Health officials identified 25 confirmed cases. Nine of the 25 cases were considered secondary cases. Ten people required hospitalization. Six people had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). No one had died. The investigation included collecting several environmental samples from the fairgrounds for analysis. Test results show that samples collected from four of the 10 areas sampled were positive for E. coli O157:H7 and were a genetic match by PFGE to the outbreak strain.