Mother of E. coli patient says more should have been done to protect people

by: Tina Terry Updated:


CLEVELAND COUNTY, N.C. - A massive E. coli outbreak linked to a county fair now has 106 patients. 

On Friday, parents of some of the young victims told Eyewitness News there should be a criminal investigation.

Five-year-old Hannah Roberts was one of the patients hospitalized as a result of the outbreak.

Hannah's mother, Tracy, told Eyewitness News she was relieved that her daughter's health is improving. However, Friday she was still praying for the other young E. coli victims.  She also said she was angry that the outbreak happened at all.

"It's wanting to fight back somehow and help these families and these children," said Roberts.

All but one of the 106 patients went to the Cleveland County Fair.  Tracy said she was upset because an outbreak had taken place before at another fair.

"If they knew it last year, then by all means, why didn't you do something this year to stop it?" she said.

After an E. coli outbreak at last year's state fair, she said Cleveland County's fair should have done more to protect people.

She said parents should have been warned the animals could carry harmful bacteria.  She also suggested the fair not have animals at all. 

"I think it's malicious intent to hurt. I personally think that could be criminal,” she said.

Eyewitness News asked the District Attorney's Office about her comments.  He said so far, he hadn't received any formal complaints.  As of Friday, the sheriff's office was not investigating.