2-year-old dies after E. coli exposure at county fair

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Authorities say E. coli bacteria encountered at the San Diego County Fair has killed one child and sickened three others.

A Friday night release from the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency announced four confirmed cases linked to animal contact. While three cases didn't result in hospitalization, the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Jedidiah King Cabezuela, 2, visited the Del Mar Fairgrounds on June 15, became ill on June 19, and died on June 24.

Dr. Erin McDonald of the health agency told the Union-Tribune that Jedidiah suffered from a dangerous complication that occurs when the infection causes damage and inflammation in the kidneys, causing clots to form that can lead to organ failure.

The children between the ages of 2 and 13 visited the fair from June 8 to 15 and had symptoms from June 10 to June 16.

The exact source of the bacteria is still under investigation, but all four reported having contact with animals at the fair.

Fair officials have now closed public access to all animal areas, including the petting zoo, but plan to keep the fair open.