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Archive for Sunday, August 17, 2003

Briefly

August 17, 2003

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Philadelphia

Zoo closes petting areas after children get E. coli

The Philadelphia Zoo closed two petting areas as a precaution Saturday after two children who visited the zoo last month came down with E. coli infections.

Zoo officials do not think its Children's Zoo or African farmyard is the source of the infections, which sent two girls, ages 3 and 5, to the hospital in early August.

The zoo tests all animals in public contact areas for E. coli twice a year, and plans to test the animals again for the strain that sickened the girls.

The girls visited the zoo in late July, and had no other risk factor in common, city health officials said.

Both recovered from the illness, which in extreme cases can cause serious kidney damage and death.

Tainted food, including undercooked hamburger meat, is the most common source of the 73,000 cases and 61 deaths from E. coli reported in the United States each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Detroit

Worker spends 19 hours in elevator in blackout

When Bettie Lloyd goes back to her 11th floor office Monday morning, she just might take the stairs.

The Detroit Board of Education auditor spent nearly 19 hours of the widespread blackout stuck alone in a hot, dark elevator in the 75-year-old Fisher Building. Firefighters rescued her Friday after someone finally heeded her pleas for help.

"I was too happy to get out of there," said Lloyd, 52. "I prayed a lot. I said, 'Oh my God, you're here! Thank you!"'

Mark Blackwell, who works for radio station WJR in the 28-story building, said he walked by an elevator car about 9:30 a.m. Friday and heard a faint voice. After realizing someone was stuck he ran for help.

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