Health Department says E. Coli cases are linked - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Health Department says E. Coli cases are linked

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- An investigation now shows that a common factor in three people who contracted E. Coli -- they all visited Huber's Orchard and Winery.

Wednesday afternoon, the Clark County Health Department and a representative from the Indiana Board of Animal Health came to Huber's.

The Louisville Metro Health Department says genetic fingerprinting show the cases are linked.  Two are Louisville residents, one is from Indiana.  Some parents believe their children got sick from the Huber's petting zoo, but the health department won't confirm that.

Last week, Huber's released a statement saying an inspection by the Clark County Health department found no link to Huber's.  But that inspection only focused on food.

The Health Department says the three who got sick each visited Huber's between September 20th and September 28th.

A parent named Kirby, who doesn't want his last name used, says his five-year-old daughter Peyton contracted E. coli after touching the animals and had scraped her arm at the petting zoo.  She washed her hands, but still became sick and was at Kosair Children's Hospital for six days.

When asked how he felt knowing that the three cases were linked to Huber's Orchard and Winery, Kirby replied, "That's something we knew from the beginning even though people were saying we were wrong for saying that.  We knew in the hospital from the other cases that were there at the same time.  Does it change my mind about them?  No, we love Huber's."

Kirby says he doesn't blame Huber's and they have been cooperative through the whole process.

Spokesperson for Huber's Orchard and Winery Dana Huber tells WDRB News, "Thursday, October 10th, before we were contacted by any of the agencies, we proactively relocated our animals to another part of our farm park so that we could take our animals out of the interaction with our guests....Actually, no one can touch our animals and, of course, you can see them from a distance."

The Metro Health Department is no longer investigating the case, and has turned it over to the Indiana Board of Animal Health and the Indiana State Health Department.

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