Toddler dies after contracting E. coli in petting zoo at county fair

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PORTLAND, Me. — A couple says their toddler died after contracting E. coli at a county fair petting zoo.

Colton Guay, 20 months old, died Tuesday after being exposed to the dangerous bacteria.

“I have learned that there is no pain worse than losing the life of your child’s” his father Jon Guay posted to Facebook.

The grieving father said the symptoms began with “severe diarrhea and ended with massive brain seizures that ultimately took his life.”

John believes his son was exposed to E. coli while visiting the petting zoo at the Oxford County Fair in Portland. Veterinarian Mark Anderson tells CNN parents it’s crucial that they wash their children’s hands after leaving a petting zoo.

“They’ve got to wash their hands when they come out of that petting zoo, because they may pick up fecal material in there, and so many of these diseases are fecal/oral and they’re spread, and we want the kids and their parents to be aware of that, and that’s why we have these handwash stations and all the signs,” said Anderson.

The State Center for Disease Control confirmed that a second little boy who went to the fair is in the hospital with symptoms of E. coli. His condition is unknown.

What happened to these poor two toddlers is so rare. I mean, obviously if this was an everyday occurrence or anything even close to that, we wouldn’t even have petting zoos, but it’s an extremely rare event, and I think it gives us all pause,” said Anderson.

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