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A little boy has died from E. coli after visiting a county fair in Maine, CBS Boston reports.
Colton Guay was 20 months old.
His father says Colton had severe diarrhea shortly after visiting a petting zoo at the Oxford County Fair in September.
"It is believed that he contracted it through simple interaction with farm animals at a local fair (based on other similar cases). It began with severe diarrhea and ended with massive brain seizures that ultimately took his life," his father Jon wrote on Facebook.
"I have learned that there is no pain worse than losing the life of your childs," he wrote.
The Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention said another child who had also visited the fair last month contracted E. coli, and officials are investigating common links between the cases. They have not definitively linked the illnesses to the petting zoo but are looking at the animal exhibits, among others things.
State veterinarian Michele Walsh said she will look for environmental samples at the fairgrounds. Fair president Jackie Young says she is cooperating with the investigation.
Lab tests revealed the presence of toxins associated with E. coli in both children, the CDC spokesman said. The state had between 20 and 33 cases of E. coli every year from 2010 to 2014.
E. coli can be spread through contaminated food or through contact with animals, people or surfaces carrying the bacteria. Symptoms include diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea and vomiting. Experts say the best defense against E. coli is to thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water.