Three children became sick with E. coli bacteria infections after visiting a Dayton pumpkin farm, the state Department of Health said Saturday.
The three Twin Cities children, ages 15 months to 7 years old, became ill after touching cattle or goats at Dehn’s Pumpkins. One of the children is hospitalized with hemolytic uremic syndrome, a serious complication of an E. coli O157:H7 infection characterized by kidney failure, according to the health department. The other two children aren’t hospitalized and are recovering.
In the three cases, the children had visited the farm Oct. 12 or 13 and became ill on Oct. 16 or 18. Health investigators are checking to see if others have become ill from the farm and are testing two other people who visited the farm Oct. 18 and have reported similar symptoms.
The farm owners are cooperating with the investigation, the Health Department says, while no public access is being allowed to the farm’s cattle and goats. The rest of the farm, including the pumpkin patch, remains open.
The Health Department says E. coli O157:H7 is common in animals like cattle and goats, and outbreaks like this with farm animals happen nearly every year in Minnesota. Symptoms unusually include stomach cramps and diarrhea, often with bloody stools, but only a low-grade or no fever, according to the Health Department.
Anyone who visited Dehn’s Pumpkins since Oct. 12 and has developed E. coli symptoms should contact their health care provided immediately.
Kelly Smith • 612-673-4141