Pumpkin patch petting zoo infects 3 children with E. Coli

DAYTON, MN - It's a beautiful day for pumpkin picking at Dehn's Pumpkins in Dayton, Minnesota.

But it's also a tough day after the Minnesota Department of Health says three children ages one to seven picked up E.coli from cattle or goats at a petting zoo.

"One is hospitalized with the complication of E.coli 0157 called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome or HUS which involves the kidneys," said Joni Scheftel with the Minnesota Health Department.

"It's hard. We feel bad about the families that have had these cases we hope that they heal well and have a healthy recovery," said Dehn's owner Jenna Dehn,

Dehn says while the other activities and pumpkins are just fine, no one is allowed near the animals.

"That's why we've got the caution tape and signs posted everywhere."

Signs on walls, and near hand sanitizer that's been there all season, urge visitors to wash their hands.

The possibility of picking up E.coli is not unique to this place. There are petting zoos at pumpkin patches and apple orchards across the state and it can happen at any of them.

"Any time people are around farm animals you can get E.coli 0157 and other infections and this is because perfectly healthy farm animals can carry germs that can make people sick," said Scheftel.

Scheftel wants everyone to remember, after visiting animals, always wash your hands.

Then the only thing you'll bring home from fall outings like this are pumpkins and memories.
 
Health officials recommend washing hands with soap and water to help prevent E.coli infection.

Hand sanitizer can also offer some protection.

Dehn's Farm says they'll offer a hand washing station next year.

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