Last year Montana cataloged a record number of Shiga Toxin E. Coli cases and Department of Health and Human Services epidemiologist Dana Fejes is advising the public to be cautious.


“For 2015 we had a record number of Shiga toxin E. coli cases reported,” Fejes said. “We usually see about 40 cases a year but we saw more last year. We were up to 84 cases of Shiga toxin E. coli and these are just people that go to their provider and get tested. You can get these diseases usually by eating something that has been contaminated but the reservoirs are animals usually, that’s where it’s coming from.”

Fejes says summer is the time of year when E. Coli and Salmonella cases seem to spike and fairs may play a role in the spread of these diseases.


“Summer time is coming around the corner and we have a lot of fairs with petting zoos around the state,” Fejes said. “We just really want to remind everyone that animals can carry organisms that can make people sick and as a precaution we want people to wash their hands before they start eating.”

Young children and those who are ill are most at risk. Fejes says some of these animal-born diseases can lead to kidney failure if not managed properly.