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State Fair Outbreak Traced To Livestock Building

Officials say a livestock building at the State Fair is the likely source of an E-coli outbreak that made 27 fairgoers sick.

State officials say their investigation doesn't point to any specific animal or breed of animal. But they're confident the bacteria came from the Kelley building at the fairgrounds, where cows, goats and sheep were housed. Megan Davies is the state epidemiologist.

Megan Davies: "It is shed intermittently by these animals naturally, so it's likely to be on an animal or in their environment at any given moment. "
Davies says once an environment is contaminated it spreads easily, especially among children who tend to put their hands in their mouths. She says the bacteria was not spread from the petting zoo or food vendors. Fair officials say they're working to identify more protective measures to prevent the spread of E-coli.

Jessica Jones covers both the legislature in Raleigh and politics across the state. Before her current assignment, Jessica was given the responsibility to open up WUNC's first Greensboro Bureau at the Triad Stage in 2009. She's a seasoned public radio reporter who's covered everything from education to immigration, and she's a regular contributor to NPR's news programs. Jessica started her career in journalism in Egypt, where she freelanced for international print and radio outlets. After stints in Washington, D.C. with Voice of America and NPR, Jessica joined the staff of WUNC in 1999. She is a graduate of Yale University.
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