4 sickened with E. coli after visiting Everett animal farm

Four people, including two children, have been sickened with E. coli infections after recent visits to the city of Everett’s animal farm.

“It’s a reminder that all petting zoos have a hazard,” said Dr. Gary Goldbaum, health officer for the Snohomish Health District.

All four people were sickened with vomiting and diarrhea. Both children are under the age of 5. One was hospitalized for several days at Seattle Children’s Hospital but has since been discharged, Goldbaum said.

The two adults were both under age 30, he said. One was a city employee who worked at the farm.

None of the other three people who became ill was hospitalized.

There are no other suspected cases, Goldbaum said. However, anyone who has visited the animal farm since its opening on June 4 and had bouts of vomiting and diarrhea should contact their medical clinic, he said. Be sure to mention the visit to the animal farm, he added.

The exact type of E. coli the people have been sickened with has not yet been identified, but Goldbaum suspects it will be E. coli O157:H7, which has caused numerous food outbreaks in the past.

The bacterium resides in the intestines of animals.

The animal farm, run by Everett’s parks department, has 25,000 visitors each year. The animals kept there include sheep, calves, piglets, chickens, goats, ducks, a horse, a pony and bunnies.

The city has no plans to temporarily close the animal farm, said spokeswoman Kate Reardon. It will operate on its normal hours of 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Aug. 14.

The city spent three and a half hours thoroughly cleaning the farm after learning that all four people sickened with E. coli had recently been on the animal farm site, she said.

Both she and Goldbaum said they feel it is safe for children to visit the animal farm, but they emphasized the importance of having children vigorously wash their hands after being in contact with farm animals.

The message doesn’t just apply to petting zoos, but to fairs and farms that families may visit in the summer time, Goldbaum said.

“It’s essential that children be monitored … and that everyone washes their hands carefully after touching anything at the petting zoo,” Goldbaum said. “It’s important to make sure you’re protecting yourself against infections.”

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or salyer@heraldnet.com

Talk to us

More in Local News

An example of the Malicious Women Co. products (left) vs. the Malicious Mermaid's products (right). (U.S. District Court in Florida)
Judge: Cheeky candle copycat must pay Snohomish company over $800K

The owner of the Malicious Women Co. doesn’t expect to receive any money from the Malicious Mermaid, a Florida-based copycat.

A grave marker for Blaze the horse. (Photo provided)
After Darrington woman’s horse died, she didn’t know what to do

Sidney Montooth boarded her horse Blaze. When he died, she was “a wreck” — and at a loss as to what to do with his remains.

A fatal accident the afternoon of Dec. 18 near Clinton ended with one of the cars involved bursting into flames. The driver of the fully engulfed car was outside of the vehicle by the time first responders arrived at the scene. (Whidbey News-Times/Submitted photo)
Driver sentenced in 2021 crash that killed Everett couple

Danielle Cruz, formerly of Lynnwood, gets 17½ years in prison. She was impaired by drugs when she caused the crash that killed Sharon Gamble and Kenneth Weikle.

A person walks out of the Everett Clinic on Thursday, Sept. 7, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
The Everett Clinic changing name to parent company Optum in 2024

The parent company says the name change will not affect quality of care for patients in Snohomish County.

Tirhas Tesfatsion (GoFundMe) 20210727
Lynnwood settles for $1.7 million after 2021 suicide at city jail

Jail staff reportedly committed 16 safety check violations before they found Tirhas Tesfatsion, 47, unresponsive in her cell.

A person walks in the rain at the Port of Everett in Everett, Washington on Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
First heavy rain event predicted Sunday night for Snohomish County

Starting Sunday evening, 1 to 1½ inches of rain is expected in western Washington. It marks the end of fire season, meteorologists said.

Clinton man, 61, dies in motorcycle crash Friday

Washington State Patrol lists speed as the cause. No other people or vehicles were involved.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Lake Stevens in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Separate road rage incident ends with fatal shooting in Lake Stevens

A man, 41, died at the scene in the 15300 block of 84th Street NE. No arrests have been made.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement partners advise the public of of colorful fentanyl.  (Photo provided by the Drug Enforcement Administration)
After rainbow fentanyl pills found in Tulalip, police sound alarms

Investigators are concerned the pastel-colored pills may end up in the hands of children.

Most Read