SHELBY, N.C. -- North Carolina health officials say an E. coli outbreak is responsible for the illness of 15 people who attended the Cleveland County Fair.
State health officials said Friday the number of people from Cleveland, Gaston and Lincoln counties who reported becoming sick after visiting the fair in Shelby increased by two children.
Ten children and five adults have become sick. Seven are from Cleveland County, five from Gaston County, and three from Lincoln County.
Several victims were treated and released from hospitals. A 12-year-old Gaston County boy is hospitalized in Charlotte in intensive care.
The bacterium is found in the waste of animals such as cattle, sheep and goats. State Health Director Laura Gerald says illness is passed by soiled hands that touched contaminated food or animals.