2002 Lane County, Oregon, Fair E. coli Outbreak
The Oregon Department of Human Services (Oregon, 2002) initially documented a patient with bloody diarrhea, who attended the Lane County Fair held during August, 2002. Epidemiologists identified 82 ill persons, 22 who were hospitalized, and 12 with HUS. This is the largest E. coli O157:H7 outbreak recorded in Oregon. Although not confirmed, health officials postulated that possible exposures leading to the outbreak occurred at animal enclosures, including the cattle tent, horse barn, and exposition halls that housed goats, sheep, rabbits, chickens, ducks, and guinea pigs. Epidemiologists from the Oregon Department of Human Services suggested that the microorganisms may have been present in the dirt and dust, and accumulated on environmental surfaces.