E. coli cases linked to Longview pumpkin patch

E. coli cases linked to Longview pumpkin patch

LONGVIEW, Wash. — Health officials in southwest Washington are investigating one confirmed case and another probable case of E. coli-related illness in children who visited a pumpkin patch and petting zoo.

Cowlitz County health officials say two children became ill after visiting the Willow Grove Gardens Pumpkin Patch and petting zoo in Longview earlier this month.

Laboratory results confirmed the bacterial infection in one child, while results are pending in the other case. One child was hospitalized for several days but is now recovering.

E. coli is a bacterial infection that can cause nausea, vomiting and diarrhea that may be bloody. Health officials say farm animals can carry E. coli and children and adults can get the infection simply by petting the animal or having other contact that exposes them to animal feces.

Pumpkin patch owner Mike McKee said he bought and new hand-washing station and put up new signs encouraging kids and parents to wash their hands.

"I think we're doing all we can do," McKee said.

KATU's Dan Cassuto contributed to this story.