E tu, Coli?
It started out just as any other spring day: Parents and children from all around Central Florida gathered to greet the new season at the annual Strawberry Festival in Plant City in March 2005. Amidst all the fun rides, games, and treats to eat, many of the attendees visited the Ag-Venture Farms petting zoo, where they petted the cute baby farm animals on display. (Ag-Venture Farms had also provided a petting zoo booth at several other Florida county fairs that season.)
Fast forward to days later, when many children who attended these fairs began suffering from high fevers, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea. After medical consultations, testing, and diagnosis it became clear that each of these children had been infected with a particular strain of E. coli bacteria. Several of these children went on to develop a serious, even life-threatening condition known as Hemolytic-uremic syndrome.