goat-lamb-459463_640Two families attended the local county fair in Maine, not knowing the danger and tragedy that awaited them.

One-year old Colton attended the Oxford County Fair with his family, and was present at the petting zoo.

IJ Review reported just a few days later, Colton contracted Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (a disease brought on by E.coli toxins). Poor Colton began having severe diarrhea, and seizures which eventually took his life.

Young Colton’s father, understandably stricken with grief, posted a statement on his Facebook page. Below is an excerpt:

My son Colton died a week later of H.U.S (Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome) which is caused by a bacteria that releases a toxin that attacks the kidneys and other organs. In this case the brain. It is believed that he contracted it through simple interaction with farm animals at a local fair (based on other similar cases).

 It began with severe diarrhea and ended with massive brain seizures that ultimately took his life. Beth and I were with him almost every moment in the hospital and are happy we got to hold and rock him to sleep. I have learned that there is no pain worse than losing the life of your childs. I am relieved to know that he is in a better place free from any further pain or suffering.”

 A one-year old named Myles was also hospitalized after attending the Oxford County Fair after being present at the petting zoo, but thankfully he survived.

IJ Review reports that the Maine Center for Disease control is currently investigating the petting zoo in question.

And ABC News reported:

“Maine Center for Disease Control is working with the State Veterinarian and the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to investigate the fact that each child attended the Oxford Fair and visited the animal barns and petting zoo,” a Center for Disease Control spokesman said in a statement.

Shiga toxins,” which are associated with E. coli, were found in laboratory tests earlier this week, health officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website has an article with helpful tips to “stay healthy” at animal exhibits which include washing hands immediately after leaving an animal exhibit and points out that even “healthy animals” are at risk for carrying diseases and may make visitors sick.