• Number of E. coli cases jumps to 16, say officials

    By: Ken Lemon


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The total number of E. coli cases has jumped to 16 Friday afternoon, according to health department officials. Each patient had visited the Cleveland County Fair.

    The mother of a 12-year-old on a breathing tube battling symptoms of E. coli, hugged the parents of 5-year-old at Levine Children’s Hospital with the same symptoms.

    Seconds before, people visiting a toddler fighting for his life talked to Channel 9.

    All three children ended up in the hospital after visiting the Cleveland County Fair.

    5-year-old Hannah Roberts visited the Cleveland County Fair last week.

    Her parents say it was a good day, but they regret it.

    "No amount of fun or whatever it is you think you are having is worth seeing your child laying in the bed fighting for her life,” said mother Tracey Roberts.

    Hannah has been at the hospital in severe pain since Tuesday.

    "It is the scariest thing in my life that I have ever been through," Tracey Roberts said.

    Hannah had a temperature of 102 last night.

    At the same hospital is a 2-year-old who went into surgery Friday morning with swelling on the brain and fluid in his lungs.

    In another room, 12-year-old Jordan McNair is still on a breathing tube.

    As they recover, the state announced four more reported cases of E. coli from people who visited the Cleveland County Fair.

    There are two new cases in Cleveland County, one in Gaston and one in York County.

    The state still has not deemed the fair the source of the contamination, but everyone who is sick went to the fair and these family members say it has to be the connection.

    "I will personally not go back to another fair as long as I live," Tracey Roberts said.

    Health officials have questioned all of the impacted people and their families, and can't pin-point one thing at the fair that they can deem as the cause of contamination.

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