Handwashing is never enough, bureaucrats have no spine: E. coli O157 from animals at Ekka edition

The EKKA, Queensland’s agricultural showpiece, concluded last week in Brisbane, about the same time an uncomfortable memory was finally published in the peer-reviewed cyber-sphere.

In Aug. 2013, 56 people became sick with E. coli O157 after contact with animals, or hanging out in the animal facility at the EKKA.

No child, or family, should have to go through grief and anguish because they took the kids to a petting zoo at the local fair.

Being repeatedly told they failed because they didn’t wash their hands is condescending. And ignores the science.

Handwashing is never enough.

At the time, a Biosecurity Australia dude said, “This highlights the importance of people practising sound hygiene measures following all contact with animals, their body fluids and excretions.”

How many want bureaucrats talking about body secretions?

As Anderson and Weese found in 2011 at a temporary petting zoo in Guelph (that’s in Canada) using video observation, 58 per cent of visitors performed some form of hand hygiene (either using water, soap and water, or hand sanitizer), and two interventions (improved signage while offering hand sanitizer, and verbal hand hygiene reminders by venue staff) were associated with increased hand hygiene compliance. U.K. health officials currently recommend handwashing stations with soap and water only (no wipes or sanitizers).

And while some studies suggest inadequate handwashing facilities may have contributed to enteric disease outbreaks or washing hands was protective against illness, others suggest relevant infectious agents may be aerosolized and inhaled.

In the fall of 2009, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Godstone Petting Farm in the U.K resulted in 93 illnesses – primarily little kids.

The investigation into the Godstone outbreak identified evidence of environmental contamination outside the main barn, indicating acquisition of illness through both direct animal or fecal contact, and indirect environmental contact (e.g. contacting railings or soiled footwear).

Aerosolization of potential pathogens is also possible, as suggested in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at a county fair in Oregon, in which 60 people fell ill.

As part of the response to the Godstone outbreak, U.K. health types recommended handwashing stations with soap and water only (no wipes or sanitizers, because they don’t work that well under certain conditions).

Ihekweazu et al. subsequently concluded that in the Godstone outbreak, “handwashing conferred no demonstrable protective effect. …

“Moreover, from the findings of many previous published studies, it must be assumed that all petting or open farms are potentially high-risk environments for the acquisition of VTEC O157 infection (an STEC).”

This is what the Ekka folks had to say about the 2013 outbreak (which no one in Brisbane seems to know about).

The 2013 Ekka agricultural show displayed >10,000 animals and included sections where direct contact between visitors and animals could occur. The animal boulevard included a large animal nursery where visitors could pat and feed farm animals, including goats, lambs, calves, piglets, chicks, ducklings, donkeys, and turkeys. A milking demonstration took place in an area adjacent to the animal nursery and visitors were invited to milk a cow. Unpasteurized milk was not served. Visitors could also view the birth of lambs that took place in an enclosed booth. The birthed lambs were available for supervised petting after >24 h after veterinary clearance. Other animals displayed in the animal boulevard and other pavilions were less accessible to the public for direct contact. 

The number of visitors in the animal nursery was not restricted. Limited unsupervised handwashing facilities were available opposite the exit of the animal nursery. Hand sanitizers were available in other areas. Signs in animal contact areas encouraged visitors to wash their hands. Staff at the agricultural show regularly removed animal waste from animal contact areas. 

Stool samples from 56 of 57 case-patients showed identical virulence gene profiles, consisting of stx1, stx2, eaeA, and ehxA . The virulence gene profile of the remaining probable primary case-patient was only stx2 and ehxA. Twenty bovine, 4 ovine, and 2 caprine fecal samples were tested from animals traced to other properties after the show had ended. Serotype O157:H- was confirmed from 51 of the human cases, and also from ovine, caprine, and bovine feces, and the animal bedding sample. All O157:H- isolated from animal and environmental sources displayed the same MLVA profiles (6_8_2_9_4_7_8_2_3_8 and 11–7-13–4-5–6-4–9) (Technical Appendix Table 2), stx1a and stx2c subtypes, and sequence type ST11, and 2/51 of human isolates differed by 1 allele in 1 of the MLVA profiles. Although E. coli O157 has frequently been reported to belong to sequence type 11 (13), the MLVA profiles were novel to the Queensland collection of previously typed STEC isolates (n = 112). 

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://www.barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-7-26-17.xlsx

Mild illness during outbreak of shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli O157 infections associated with agricultural show, Australia

Emerging Infectious Diseases, vol. 23, no 10, October 2017, Bhakti R. Vasant, Russell J. Stafford, Amy V. Jennison, Sonya M. Bennett, Robert J. Bell, Christine J. Doyle, Jeannette R. Young, Susan A. Vlack, Paul Titmus, Debra El Saadi, Kari A.J. Jarvinen, Patricia Coward, Janine Barrett, Megan Staples, Rikki M.A. Graham, Helen V. Smith, and Stephen B. Lambert

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/23/10/16-1836_article

During a large outbreak of Shiga toxin−producing Escherichia coli illness associated with an agricultural show in Australia, we used whole-genome sequencing to detect an IS1203v insertion in the Shiga toxin 2c subunit A gene of Shiga toxin−producing E. coli. Our study showed that clinical illness was mild, and hemolytic uremic syndrome was not detected.

Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012

Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

4 sick with campy linked to raw milk served at Royal Welsh Show

In 2013, at least 50 people, mainly children, became ill with E coli O157 at the Ekka, Queensland, Australia’s version of the state fair.

It starts again on Friday, and because organizers have done little except to encourage people to wash their hands, we won’t be going.

Handwashing is never enough.

Manure from ruminants is easily aerosolized in these environments, and I’ve been to many human-animal interaction events for research, and there is shit everywhere.

Although ostensibly designed to promote understanding of food production, these agricultural celebrations rarely discuss risk – until an outbreak happens.

The motto seems to be: It’d be better for us if you don’t understand.

Now, four people have been sickened with Campylobacter linked to unpasteurised or raw cow’s milk from Penlan y Môr farm near New Quay, Ceredigion and sold at the Royal Welsh Show.

Public Health Wales says the four cases all consumed or bought the milk at Aberystwyth Farmer’s Market after June 1.

But visitors to the Royal Welsh Show in Builth Wells may also have sampled or bought the milk which was available there on Wednesday, 26 July.

A table of animal-human-interaction outbreaks is available at http://www.barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-7-26-17.xlsx

Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]

Observation of public health risk behaviors, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011Outbreaks of human illness have been linked to visiting settings with animal contact throughout developed countries. This paper details an observational study of hand hygiene tool availability and recommendations; frequency of risky behavior; and, handwashing attempts by visitors in Kansas (9) and Missouri (4), U.S., petting zoos. Handwashing signs and hand hygiene stations were available at the exit of animal-contact areas in 10/13 and 8/13 petting zoos respectively. Risky behaviors were observed being performed at all petting zoos by at least one visitor. Frequently observed behaviors were: children (10/13 petting zoos) and adults (9/13 petting zoos) touching hands to face within animal-contact areas; animals licking children’s and adults’ hands (7/13 and 4/13 petting zoos, respectively); and children and adults drinking within animal-contact areas (5/13 petting zoos each). Of 574 visitors observed for hand hygiene when exiting animal-contact areas, 37% (n=214) of individuals attempted some type of hand hygiene, with male adults, female adults, and children attempting at similar rates (32%, 40%, and 37% respectively). Visitors were 4.8x more likely to wash their hands when a staff member was present within or at the exit to the animal-contact area (136/231, 59%) than when no staff member was present (78/343, 23%; p<0.001, OR=4.863, 95% C.I.=3.380-6.998). Visitors at zoos with a fence as a partial barrier to human-animal contact were 2.3x more likely to wash their hands (188/460, 40.9%) than visitors allowed to enter the animals’ yard for contact (26/114, 22.8%; p<0.001, OR= 2.339, 95% CI= 1.454-3.763). Inconsistencies existed in tool availability, signage, and supervision of animal-contact. Risk communication was poor, with few petting zoos outlining risks associated with animal-contact, or providing recommendations for precautions to be taken to reduce these risks.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

We pay tax dollars for this? Safe Food Queensland sucks

Safe Food Queensland: What do you get when you cross a Smurf with cheese?  Blue Cheese.  #cheesejoke #jokes #food #cheese

you.suckSafe Food Queensland should maybe focus on providing reports on the E. coli O157 outbreak that sickened 50 at the Ekka in 2013. Follow-up? Nothing.

 

In November 2013, at least 220 people were felled by salmonella and one was killed at Melbourne Cup functions, all linked to raw egg-based dishes served by Piccalilli Catering. Follow-up? Nothing.

In January 2015 at least 130 diners were stricken with salmonella after dining at Brisbane’s Chin Chin Chinese Restaurant. Dozens were hospitalised. Follow-up? Nothing.

In March 2015, 250 teachers contracted salmonella at a conference and an additional 20 people were sickened on the Gold Coast from the same egg supplier. Follow-up? Nothing.

But way to make bad, taxpayer-funded jokes, Safe Food Queensland.

13 sick with E. coli O157 linked to traveling petting zoo in Minnesota

Today is a state holiday in Queensland (that’s in Australia) as 60,000 or so will flock to the Ekka, the equivalent of a state fair.

ekka.petting.zoo_1-300x225We’re not going.

I got enough pictures the first two years, and wisely didn’t go last year when at least 50 were sickened with E. coli O157 linked to the animal displays.

Not a word about that outbreak from health types, fair types, or anyone, except locals who say, beware the Ekka winds, and wash hands.

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH, that’s in the U.S.) has a much better history of identifying and following up on outbreaks, and reports today it has identified at least 13 people who have developed E. coli O157:H7 infections as part of an outbreak associated with Zerebko Zoo Tran traveling petting zoo. All of these cases have infections with E. coli O157:H7 bacteria that have the same DNA fingerprint. Two of these are secondary cases resulting from being exposed to one of the primary cases associated with the petting zoo.

The 13 cases range in age from 2 to 68 years, 10 (77 percent) are female, and they are residents of multiple counties. Seven (54 percent) cases have been hospitalized, including three children. Two of the cases developed a serious complication known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), which affects kidney function. Currently, one case is hospitalized with HUS.

The petting zoo exhibited at the events listed below between July 4 and July 27, and there have been cases associated with each one:

Nashwauk 4th of July Festival (7/3-7/5): 1 case

Polk County Fair (7/9-7/13): 1 case

Rice County Fair (7/15-7/20): 7 cases (including the 2 secondary cases)

Olmsted County Fair (7/21-7/27): 3 cases

MDH is currently following up with one case regarding their potential animal exposures prior to their illness. Additional cases associated with attending the Olmsted County Fair could still be identified, as that was the most recent event where Zerebko Zoo Tran exhibited.

royal.petting.zooEnvironmental and animal fecal samples collected from Zerebko Zoo Tran yielded the outbreak strain of E. coli O157:H7. The owner has been cooperating in the investigation and voluntarily withheld his animals from the last two county fairs at which he was scheduled to exhibit in August.

E. coli O157:H7 is commonly found in ruminant animals such as cattle, goats, and sheep. Outbreaks associated with these animals are documented virtually every year in Minnesota. Therefore, people who contact ruminants at any venue, public or private, are at risk for infection with E. coli O157:H7 as well as a variety of other germs. People typically become ill by getting bacteria on their hands after touching the animals or contaminated surfaces, and then swallowing the germs while eating, drinking or during other hand-to-mouth activities. Contamination can be present on the fur or in the saliva of animals, in the soil where these animals are kept, or on surfaces such as fence railings of animal pens.

“These illnesses are a stark reminder that E. coli O157:H7 can be present in even the cleanest of animal operations,” said MDH State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Joni Scheftel. Risk associated with animal contact can be reduced through the following measures:

Visitors to animal exhibits should be made aware that even healthy, well-tended animals can have germs that can make people seriously ill.

Food, drinks, and items that promote hand-to-mouth contact (for example, pacifiers) should not be brought into animal areas.

Hands should be washed with soap and water immediately after visiting the animals. Hand sanitizers are not a substitute for soap and running water but may afford some protection until soap and water are available. They do not work well against some germs and when hands are visibly soiled.

Children under 5 years, seniors, pregnant women, and people with a chronic health condition or a weak immune system are prone to serious complications from E. coli infections and should take extra care around animals. 

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

Ekka winds: is handwashing really enough to prevent petting zoo outbreaks?

Even though it’s 70F during the day in the depths of winter, the Ekka winds, as the locals call them, have hit hard.

There’s a nasty flu strain going around that knocked all of us out for 10 days even with a flu shot, because, getting old and all that.

ekka.petting.zooWe all missed hockey last week, and the guy I coach with just called to say he’s knocked out for this weekend.

The Ekka is the Queensland state fair.

When I ask locals if they go to the Ekka, they say, no, everyone gets sick.

Last year was particularly bad, as at least 50 were sickened with E. coli O157.

There has been no public follow up, no reference to what is being done to improve the situation this year, and no chance we’ll be attending.

Queensland Health, in all its taxpayer-funded splendor, wrote yesterday that visitors to this year’s Royal Queensland Show (the Ekka) are reminded of the importance of washing their hands after interacting with animals.

This year’s show will feature a redesigned animal nursery to minimise the risk of illness due to contact with animals. This will ensure that everyone leaving it must exit through specially designed hand washing stations.

According to Queensland Health, the most important precautionary measure to minimising this risk is timely hand washing, particularly after animal petting or feeding, and avoiding contact with potentially contaminated articles such as animal bedding.

That’s nice, but incomplete. Many pathogens can be aerosolized, and have been in previous petting zoo outbreaks.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

50 sickened with E. coli last year in Brisbane; state fair risks poorly managed

For some reason, this colony of convicts refers to its mayors as “The Lord Mayor.”

ekka.petting.zooIt’s almost that time of year again for one of the city’s most loved annual events to roll into town. The Ekka will light up the RNA Show grounds at Bowen Hills from 8-17 August. If you are heading along, don’t forget to drop by Brisbane City Council’s stand in the Woolworths Pavilion. Always fun and interactive, this year’s stand showcases the many roles Council plays in our community as well as some of the things we all love about Brisbane.”

High-five.

Except last year at the Ekka, the equivalent of a U.S. state fair, at least 50 people were stricken with E. coli O157 from the animal contact in the petting zoo.

There has been no public follow up, no reference to what is being done to improve the situation this year, and no chance we’ll be attending.

Best practices for planning events encouraging human-animal interactions

Zoonoses and Public Health

G. Erdozain , K. KuKanich , B. Chapman  and D. Powell

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/zph.12117/abstract?deniedAccess

Educational events encouraging human–animal interaction include the risk of zoonotic disease transmission. It is estimated that 14% of all disease in the US caused by Campylobacter spp., Cryptosporidium spp., Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) O157, non-O157 STECs, Listeria monocytogenes, nontyphoidal Salmonella enterica and Yersinia enterocolitica were attributable to animal contact. This article reviews best practices for organizing events where human–animal interactions are encouraged, with the objective of lowering the risk of zoonotic disease transmission.

http://barfblog.com/2013/09/49-now-sick-with-e-coli-o157-from-brisbane-state-fair-over-100-being-tested/

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://barfblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Petting-Zoo-Outbreaks-Table-4-8-14.xlsx.

49 now sick with E. coli O157 from Brisbane state fair, over 100 being tested

While walking home with our daughters from swimming and trampoline tomfoolery this morning (Monday, I’ve adapted to the different time zone), a friend asked if I’d heard about all the sick people at the Ekka, the Queensland state fair.

I said, yes.

We had a long chat about risk, the hygiene hypothesis, and why handwashng is never enough.

sorenne.kangeroo.zoo.jul.11And how all the other parents at school hate me.

She said the other parents don’t like her much either.

For the same infectious disease reasons.

Queensland Health said today 49 people, including 31 children aged between one and 15, had contracted the Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC).

A 33-year-old Brisbane woman and three children, aged six, 11 and 12 – all from different families living in different suburbs – were the first to test positive to the potentially deadly bacteria on August 23.

Authorities believe they may have contracted E-coli after patting animals in the animal nursery at Brisbane’s Ekka.

Over two weeks after the first cases, there is no critical examination of the Ekka animal areas, no explanation, and nothing beyond wash your damn hands.

On Friday, I’ll be accompanying the 4-year-olds to the Lone Pines animal sanctuary to hang out with kangeroos, wallabies and other Australian wildlife. I’m sure I’ll make some handwashing.ekka.jpgnew friends.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks, and a list of risk factors at petting zoos and animal contact events at fairs can be found in: Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health. 2012.

 

‘For those scientific types interested’ it’s E. coli O157; 32 confirmed 103 being sampled after Brisbane fair outbreak

Can’t make this stuff up. The latest update from Queensland Health on the shiga-toxin E. coli outbreak at the Ekka, or Queensland state fair says, “For those scientific types interested in this issue, E.coli O157 is the specific strain that caused this outbreak.”

“So far, 32 people are confirmed to have STEC and a further 103 samples are being tested for the infection from people who may potentially have the infection. Five people handwash.sink.ekkahave been hospitalized and have since been discharged.”

Acting Senior Director Communicable Diseases Unit Dr Stephen Lambert said there had been a significant response to the outbreak, which has led to a large number of people undergoing testing for the infection. 

“The community’s response has been great. People have been listening and seeking medical treatment if they have symptoms,” Dr Lambert said.
“I thank everyone for their response to this important public health issue to assist in handwashing.ekka.jpgpreventing any further outbreak.” 

What would be more helpful is a critical evaluation of the animal areas at the Ekka.

Handwashing is never enough; 49, mainly kids, now sick with E coli from Brisbane petting area; people told to handle excretions with care

No child, or family, should have to go through grief and anguish because they took the kids to a petting zoo at the local fair.

Being repeatedly told they failed because they didn’t wash their hands is bee.gees.brisbanecondescending. And ignores the science.

Handwashing is never enough.

There are now 32 people, primarily children, confirmed with shiga-toxin producing E. coli from the Ekka, or Queensland Exhibition, like the state fair in Another 17 suspected cases were awaiting the results of tests.

Authorities say STEC genes were detected in the bedding of animals in the Ekka’s nursery.

And people are being told by the well-paid bureaucrats to wash their hands better.

A Biosecurity Australia dude said, “This highlights the importance of people practising sound hygiene measures following all contact with animals, their body fluids and excretions.”

Queensland Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said STEC, and similar infections, could be reduced if people washed their hands before and after handling food, and after patting animals, changing nappies and going to the toilet.

“Thorough hand washing with soap and water is the key to preventing the spread of these infections.”

Go hang out at petting zoos or the exhibits at county and state fairs and watch what little kids do; we have. So have others.

As Anderson and Weese found in 2011 at a temporary petting zoo in Guelph using video observation, 58 per cent of visitors performed some form of hand hygiene (either using water, soap and water, or hand sanitizer), and two interventions (improved signage while offering hand ekka.petting.zoosanitizer, and verbal hand hygiene reminders by venue staff) were associated with increased hand hygiene compliance. U.K. health officials currently recommend handwashing stations with soap and water only (no wipes or sanitizers).

And while some studies suggest inadequate handwashing facilities may have contributed to enteric disease outbreaks or washing hands was protective against illness, others suggest relevant infectious agents may be aerosolized and inhaled.

In the fall of 2009, an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at Godstone Petting Farm in the U.K resulted in 93 illnesses – primarily little kids.

The investigation into the Godstone outbreak identified evidence of environmental contamination outside the main barn, indicating acquisition of illness through both direct animal or fecal contact, and indirect environmental contact (e.g. contacting railings or soiled footwear).

Aerosolization of potential pathogens is also possible, as suggested in an E. coli O157:H7 outbreak at a county fair in Oregon, in which 60 people fell ill.

As part of the response to the Godstone outbreak, U.K. health types recommended handwashing stations with soap and water only (no wipes or sanitizers, because they don’t work that well under certain conditions).

Ihekweazu et al. subsequently concluded that in the Godstone outbreak, ekka.petting.zoo.aug.12“handwashing conferred no demonstrable protective effect. …

“Moreover, from the findings of many previous published studies, it must be assumed that all petting or open farms are potentially high-risk environments for the acquisition of VTEC O157 infection (an STEC).”

It’s still 1977 here in Australia; blame the consumer.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks, and a list of risk factors at petting zoos and animal contact events at fairs can be found in: Erdozain G, Kukanich K, Chapman B, Powell D. 2012. Observation of public health risk behaviours, risk communication and hand hygiene at Kansas and Missouri petting zoos – 2010-2011. Zoonoses Public Health.

26 now sick with E. coli from petting area at Brisbane fair; handwashing or sanitizers never enough

At some point, people will start asking, how did this happen? Why didn’t organizers of the Ekka pay attention to all the petting zoo outbreaks globally in the past 10 years? And why would the organizers of the Ekka issue a statement like they did on Aug. 23, 2013, stating, “The Ekka has courtlynn.petting.zoobeen held here for 136 years, with millions of people passing through our gates over this time, and this is the first incident of this type that we are aware of.”

According to Queensland Health nine people are confirmed to have STEC and a further 17 people are being tested for the infection. Three of these people have been admitted to hospital.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at http://bites.ksu.edu/petting-zoos-outbreaks.