The Moose Jaw Times Herald reports that fair organizers are increasingly addressing issues related to human-animal interaction.

The Western Fair that year had 61 cases of E. coli traced back to fair barns with seven confirmed cases, one leading to severe kidney illness. Since 2004, at least seven U.S. fairs have been sued over E. coli outbreaks traced to livestock events at fairs.

Cows are not the only culprit.  Sheep, goats, and other animals also carry harmful E. coli in their intestinal tracts.

  • Mardell Ryan

    Hi Bill,
    Boy, I hope you are not getting this twice. :-)
    I’m a friend of your parents. I have the golden Retriever. :-) His a great dog!
    Anyway, I was reading your 1/23/07 blog on petting zoos and noticed that E. coli was called a virus. It’s a nasty bacteria. A typo.
    At any rate, did you know how excellent the Kitsap County Fair is about preventing E. coli spreading. I know you started it, but the fair board has continued it and stresses it. Amazing that an organization continues what they start. That is encouragement for you.
    Have a great day! Mardell Ryan, DVM

  • Thanks for your comment, Dr. Ryan. You’re right about the typo, but it was in the original source article, so I think I’ll leave the block quote the way it is. It’s pretty common for journalists to mistake the E. coli O157:H7 bacterium for a virus.
    And kudos to the Kitsap County Fair. All fairs should pay such close attention to the safety of their visitors.