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Fair taking extra precautions against E. Coli

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Nearly 100 people got sick, and a two-year-old died, from E. Coli health official believe they got at the Cleveland County Fair earlier this month.

Now our tri-county fair is stepping up its game to protect visitors.

"This year, we've increased our handwashing stations in our livestock exhibit by 125 percent," Cape Fear Fair & Expo Manager Skip Watkins said.

In its 48 years of operation, the Cape Fear Fair & Expo has never had a problem with E.Coli. The staff says they are going above and beyond, though, to put families at ease. That means more than 10 hand washing stations, extra signage around the tents and even a protective chemical sprayed on the animal exhibit that kills E. Coli.

"Come in. Have fun. Expect to have fun, but just use common sense," Watkins said. "Wash your hands after you leave, and make sure that our little ones, if you see something on the ground, don't let them pick it up."

Pediatrician David Hill says go and enjoy the fair, just keep it clean. He says he would not let the fear of getting sick stop him from joining in on the fun.

"I love fairs. I love kids going to fairs," Dr. Hill said. "So you just want to bring some hand sanitizer with you or hunt down a place to actually wash your kids' hands."

The fair opens tomorrow and runs through November 3. Discount tickets are on sale until midnight at Scotchman gas stations. Full price tickets can be purchased at the fair at the airport.

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