Toddler dead, 106 sick; teen out of hospital, child back in as part of North Carolina petting zoo outbreak

No child, or family, should have to go through this 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.

The Charlotte Observer reports Jordan McNair, a 12-year-old Bessemer City boy who contracted E. coli while at the Cleveland County fair last month was released from the hospital on Thursday, after spending 35 days at Levine Children’s Hospital.

Five-year-old Hannah Roberts left Levine Children’s Hospital in style over two weeks ago, but Thursday, her parents told WBTV their daughter is suffering from side effects from the E. coli O157 infection.

A table of petting zoo outbreaks is available at,  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 Jul 30. doi: 10.1111/j.1863-2378.2012.01531.x. [Epub ahead of print]