- Associated Press - Friday, October 19, 2012

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - State health officials say contact with animals is the likely source of an E. coli outbreak linked to North Carolina county fair.

A statement from the Department of Health and Human Services on Friday said 64 children and 42 adults have been sickened in the outbreak. A 2-year-old died of complications from the bacterial illness.

Officials say 12 people have been or are currently hospitalized.

State Health Director Laura Gerald says the investigation is progressing but a specific cause still hasn’t been determined.

Public health officials expect the number of cases associated directly with the nine-day fair that ended Oct. 7 will soon stop growing. But it is possible that secondary cases, or those passed from person to person, may appear for several more weeks.

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