A goat farm in Lebanon is being investigated after an E.coli outbreak left 15 people sick, including a mother from Manchester and her 18 month old daughter, who is the only person to speak out about the infection.
"(It) was wonderful time that led to a horrible outcome," the mother told NBC Connecticut in an exclusive interview.
Amanda Collins visited Oak Leaf Dairy farm in Lebanon with her family on March 13.
“I walked right in,” Collins said. “Me loving farms, I held the goats, pet the goats and brought my daughter into the stall.”
Collins said it was a wonderful experience, with a knowledgeable staff and plenty of children and their parents around petting the goats.
However, a few days after the visit, the symptoms started. At first, she thought she had a stomach bug, but when her daughter developed the same symptoms, she knew something was wrong.
“Friday is when it hit, when I ended up having intestinal pain, diarrhea, seeing bloody stool,” Collins said. “And just seeing her go through the same thing that I physically felt myself is agonizing.“
After trips to the doctor’s office and the emergency room, both she and her daughter tested positive for E.coli. She did not put all of the pieces together until she got a call from the CDC.
“That’s when it clicked and I was like I did visit a farm and I had a lot of interaction with the animals,” Collins said.
Collins and her daughter are 2 of 15 patients in Connecticut sickened with E.coli. All but one of them reported having direct contact with the goats at Oak Leaf Dairy.
“I cried a lot,” Collins said. “I was very anxious. I was upset about it at first, but never angry at the farm though.”
The farm is now closed and cooperating with the Department of Public Health. Of the 15 cases, three remain hospitalized at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
Collins said both she and her daughter used hand sanitizer at the farm and wet wipes once they got to the car. She said this will not stop them from visiting farms in the future.
“The only thing I would have to said is please build a facility where people where people can wash their hands because I think that will stop a lot from spreading.” Collins said.