After a toddler died from complications of E. coli and three other children got sick, the deadly infections were traced back to a petting zoo at a San Diego County Fair.

All four children infected by the bacteria visited the particular petting zoo around the same time. However, Jedidiah King Cabezula suffered a rare complication after coming in contact with animals, Live Science reports.

His kidneys eventually shut down.

Jedidiah King Cabezuela/ Gofundme

He contracted the bacterial infection during a visit on June 15. His family said four days later he got sick. He was in and out of the hospital ever since until his kidneys shut down, reports ABC News.

Health officials have warned about children putting their hands in their mouths after touching surfaces or animals contaminated with E. coli bacteria. 

Following the incident, they stressed the importance of hand-washing after coming in contact with animals or their environments, such as farms and petting zoos, before eating and drinking.

ABC News

Dr. Robert Glatter, an emergency physician in New York City, told The New York Times:

“Young children at these zoos come in contact with feces of the animals. Certainly the animals clean themselves, and obviously contact by virtue of petting is common. We’re looking at calves, cows, goats, sheep as well as deer.”

While it’s more common to contract E. coli from eating undercooked food, Gallter said:

“You have to realize, if you’re going to visit one of these zoos, you have to have hand sanitizer, but even better is soap and water.”

The San Diego County Fair has shut down the fairgrounds after Cabezula passed away on June 24.

Jedidiah King Cabezuela/ Gofundme

His family has set up a Gofundme in his name.

Cabezuela’s loved ones described him as “an energetic, smiley, loving silly” 2-year-old boy.

Watch the video below:

About the author

Tiffani is a writer for Dearly. She is from New York City. Prior to working for Dearly she covered fashion news and managed social media for various digital media outlets.

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