January 20, 2020

Search Results for: petting zoo

Lawyer Warns of E. coli Danger at Petting Zoos

Attorney Fred Pritzker is parents warning about the dangers of E. coli infections from petting zoos. As the weather warms and summer starts, petting zoos are popular attractions for families with young children. Unfortunately, those venues can be and have been the source of serious and even deadly E. coli outbreaks. The issue is that ruminant animals often held at petting zoos, such as goats, sheep, and cows, can carry Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) bacteria in their guts. The animals don't get sick from this pathogenic bacteria because they lack the gene that permits the bacteria to grow and produce toxins that destroy red blood cells. It doesn't matter how old the animal is; young animals can carry this pathogen. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces. From there, … [Read more...]

Utah STEC Outbreak Investigated; Petting Zoos and Farms Studied

Public health officials in Utah are investigating an increase in Shiga toxin-producing E. coli infections (STEC) in that state, according to the Utah Department of Health. The source of this Utah STEC outbreak has not been identified, but some patients said they visited farms, corn mazes, and petting zoos before they got sick. This is nothing new. In the past few years, there have been several E. coli outbreaks linked to those types of attractions. Food safety attorney Fred Pritzker warned the public years ago about the potential danger at agricultural tourism venues. Ruminant animals, such as goats and cows, carry E. coli and other pathogenic bacteria in their intestines, and those animals do not get sick. The bacteria are shed in the animal's feces, which can then contaminate … [Read more...]

Keep Children Safe at Petting Zoos to Avoid HUS E. coli

HUS E. coli is a life-threatening disease that children can contract from exposure to pathogenc E. coli at petting zoos or other animal exhibits commonly visited in summer and fall by families on outings to apple orchards, pumpkin patches, festivals and fairs. The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians sets a compendium of safety measures for animal venue operators to follow, but the health of children who touch animals, feed animals or even touch railings or enclosures comes down to handwashing and vigilance supported by the operators. In Minnesota, where state officials have investigated two sizable outbreaks of toxic E. coli infections at petting zoons in the past two years, the state Department of Health has published a Prevention Fact Sheet. It emphasizes two … [Read more...]

Did Zerebko Petting Zoo Provide Enough E. coli Prevention?

Petting zoo E. coli outbreaks like the one in Minnesota this summer have been studied in the U.S. for decades. A watershed outbreak 10 years ago at the North Carolina State Fair was the worst in recent history. A total of 108 case patients were identified, including 41 with laboratory-confirmed illness and 15 who experienced kidney failure as part of life-threating complication known as E. coli hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS). Within months after the North Carolina outbreak, in March 2005, the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) published new recommendations for operators that are still viewed as important safety standards. At the time, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) was saying that its own control measures for petting zoos, published … [Read more...]

Rice County Fair E. coli Cases Dominate Petting Zoo Outbreak

The Rice County Fair in Faribault, Minnesota, is where five people contracted E. coli poisoning in an outbreak that infectious disease experts from the Minnesota Department of Health have traced to a traveling petting zoo. The Rice County cluster of  E. coli O157:H7 illnesses expanded to a total of seven case patients -- more than half of the outbreak total -- when the pathogen spread from an infected person or persons to two secondary case patients. Infection with E. coli O157:H7 is the primary cause of hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), the most common cause of kidney failure in children in this country. This syndrome usually involves prolonged hospital stays and is fatal in up to 5 percent of cases. In the Minnesota E. coli outbreak linked to Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo, … [Read more...]

Petting Zoo E.coli Can Be Aerosolized

E. coli at petting zoos and animal exhibits can be aerosolized, contaminating environmental surfaces in the barn or display area and possibly food and clothing of patrons viewing the animals, research shows. That's why it's especially important that no food or drink be brought into the viewing area and that hand washing stations with soap and running water be located at the exits. The prohibition on food and drinks includes items brought from home such as water bottles, coffee mugs, baby bottles and sippy cups. It also includes other items that a baby or toddler may mouth, such as pacifiers and teething toys. This week a traveling petting zoo in Minnesota was linked to 13 cases of E. coli infections at four county fairs and festivals held during July: the Nashwauk 4th of July … [Read more...]

Zerebko Petting Zoo MN E. coli Outbreak One in a Long Line

The ongoing E.coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to the Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo is just one in a long line of outbreaks at state and county fairs around the country in the last few years. The Zerebko zoo goes from fair to fair during the summer months, providing animals for children to see and play with. An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to that organization has sickened at least 13 people in Minnesota. Seven people have been hospitalized in this outbreak; two have developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and one person is still hospitalized. Zerebko Zoo Tran has been at the Rice County Fair, the Nashwauk 4th of July Festival, the Polk County Fair, and the Olmstead County Fair. In 2013, there were at least two outbreaks associated with petting zoos. An outbreak in … [Read more...]

Minnesota E. Coli Fair Outbreak Linked to Traveling Petting Zoo

An E. coli O157:H7 outbreak linked to various county fairs and events around the state of Minnesota has sickened at least 13 people. The illnesses were caused by a traveling petting zoo, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. That traveling group, Zerebko Zoo Tran, goes from fair to fair during the summer. All of the confirmed cases have infections with E. coli O15:H7 bacteria with the same genetic fingerprint. Two of those cases are secondary cases, who were exposed to people sickened in the primary outbreak. Environmental and animal fecal samples collected from Zerebko Zoo Tran yielded the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The owner has been cooperating with the government's investigation and voluntarily withheld he animals from the last two fairs he was scheduled to … [Read more...]

Petting Zoo is Possible Source of E. coli Outbreak at Rice County Fair

A petting zoo is the possible source of an E.coli outbreak at the Rice County Fair, according to the Fairbault Daily News. Preliminary tests by the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) show that the animals from Zerebko Zoo Tran petting zoo were positive for E. coli O157:H7, the same kind of bacteria that sickened at least eight fairgoers, but further testing is needed to determine if the substrain found in the animals is a match to the outbreak strain. Carrie Klumb, an MDH epidemiologist, told the paper that all of the cases share a common exposure: contact with an animal. "Petting zoos are a well-recognized source of E. coli poisoning and have been implicated in several outbreaks in recent years,” said Fred Pritzker, publisher of Food Poisoning Bulletin and food safety attorney who has … [Read more...]

Petting Zoo E. coli Outbreaks in 2013

Petting zoos and other live animal exhibits can be the source of E.coli poisoning which can cause serious, sometimes life-ending illness for children. In 2013, at least two E.coli outbreaks were associated with petting zoos. Six children contracted E.coli infections, three of them developed hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), a complication of E.coli infections in children that leads to kidney failure. A September E. coli outbreak sickened three children in Kentucky and Indiana who had visited Huber’s Orchard, Winery and Vineyards in Starlight, IN prior to becoming ill. All three children were hospitalized and DNA "fingerprinting" tests showed they were all sickened by the same strain of E.coli. Tests on environmental samples from Huber's did not yield positives of the outbreak … [Read more...]

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